When we first go for psychology, counselling or therapy, the biggest challenge facing us is how to identify who would be good for us and what sort of therapy might suit us. It might seem that we need to answer each question separately, but research suggests that it is the combination that actually determines what works. The counsellor has to be skilled in the modality or modalities they use and this is important for the counsellor to be effective. However, the research shows that it is the therapeutic relationship that best determines the outcomes. This suggests that choosing the counsellor that you feel comfortable working with is the key measure for you as the client, provided that the chosen counsellor has adequate training and skills to be effective.
I am a relationship counsellor. You may not realise that not all counsellors, therapists and psychologists are specifically trained in relationship counselling. General counselling and psychology training covers only one or two units related to working with couples. Specific training in couples, marriage or relationship counselling is necessary and important to achieve effective results with relationship issues. It’s unfortunate that some psychologists and counsellors in Australia are working with couples without having specific training or skills in this area.