In my last post, Relationship Consulting: When it makes sense to get another opinion, I laid out some solid reasons why having a relationship consultation makes sense. What I didn't do, though, is tell you exactly who a Relationship Consultant IS and what a Relationship Consultant DOES!
So, here you go.
A Relationship Consultant IS someone with professional training in relationships (a therapist) and with extensive additional training in relationship facilitation (Prepare/Enrich), "crisis" issues (discernment counseling, decoupling counseling), and mediation. In addition, a Relationship Consultant should have a deep field of referral options in different types of therapies, family law, and financial analysis.
A Relationship Consultant DOES four basic things.
1) Administers an online assessment. In our case, I give you access to an online set of questions that you and your partner answer, separately.
2) Looks over your answers and then interviews you about them. Once I've seen what both you and your partner have answered, I look for places I want additional information. I'll then meet with you and your partner separately to see what other data I need in order to get a well-rounded picture of your relationship.
3) Writes a report and gives it to you. After we've had a chance to talk--up to an hour for each of you--I'll take everything I've learned about your relationship and write you a fancy report. This report is going to do two big things. First, it's going to list/highlight/bring to your attention issues that came up during the assessments and interviews. Some of these issues may be known to you; some may have been in your blind spot. Secondly, this report is going to include recommendations for next steps for you. These next steps will be tailored to what you need.
4) Follows up with you for a year. After I've handed off your report, I'll follow up with you at scheduled intervals in order to see how your next steps are going and if you need any additional recommendations.
Some questions I've gotten:
* What if you're my Relationship Consultant and I want to stay on with you in a therapy role?
Depending on your needs, we can transition into a different professional relationship where I provide the counseling and therapy services you need and want. If I change my role with you, I'll have you complete an informed consent to that change in services.
*What if you're my Relationship Consultant and I DON'T want to stay with you in a therapy role?
That's completely fine! My job as your consultant isn't to drum up therapy business for myself. It's to help you get the support you need. I will offer you referrals to therapists I think may be a good fit for you and hope they work out.
Next up: Now You're Going to Tell Me that I Can't Afford to NOT get a Relationship Consultant