Is Couples Therapy Right for You?

When and how to hire a relationship referee.

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Couples shouldn't feel shy about calling a few counselors and evaluating them on the phone, experts say. And once couples find someone, they should be willing to try another therapist if progress isn't being made.

If a therapist seems to lack structure, favors one person more than the other, or allows fights to get out of hand, consider looking elsewhere, experts say. However, couples should have patience with their counselor and not expect a miracle overnight.

"Within three sessions, a couple should have a new perspective on something helpful or a way to handle something that's helpful," Cooper says. "If in three sessions the couple isn't getting value, change therapists."

[See: 8 Steps to Mend a Broken Heart]