* AAMFT stands for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. A marriage counselor should be certified with this organization. AAMFT also provides a therapist locator service where you can search for local certified therapists.
Finding the Right Therapist
1) Call a perspective therapist and ask about their qualifications, their practice, their therapy philosophy, and the specific elements of your situation to see if they are trained and experienced in handling your unique situation. Ask if they are experienced with substance abuse, children, chronic pain management, mental health conditions, or any other factor you feel has contributed to your present situation.
2) Evaluate how you interact with the perspective therapist. Finding a therapist you can relate to is an important part of how successful therapy can be for your marriage.
3) Get your spouse to commit to the therapy process. Just like marriage itself, counseling won't work if one of you is just half-assing it.
4) A good therapist is impartial, non-judgmental, and doesn't push divorce or reconciliation. They are supposed to help you identify your problems as a couple, help you build trust and communication with your partner, and give you all the needed tools to make this big decision for yourself.