Finding the Right Marriage Therapist
The most critical part of the therapy process is a good, open relationship between client and therapist. It is the most significant predictor for success in therapy. People are different, and one therapist will be good for one person but ineffective with another. One session with a therapist should be enough to know whether she is the right therapist for you.
If you don't feel good about your first session of therapy, don't return. You're in charge of the process, not the therapist. On the other hand, the role of a therapist is not to be your friend. If you find a therapist who always agrees with you, rather than one who asks you challenging questions and helps you examine your habitual thinking and behavior, that is a sign you may need a new therapist.
The goal of therapy is to help you find a new way to view a situation or person you find difficult, and from this enlarged perspective, discover a new response. Beware of any therapy that is not what you would describe as hard work. If it's too easy, you are not getting into the issues that need to be addressed. Unlike the emotional support you might get from telling your problems to a friend (or bartender, or hairdresser), therapy should not be about simply listening and agreeing with you.
What is meant by a level playing field in marriage therapy?
When a couple goes to marriage therapy, both partners must feel comfortable with the therapist or the process will not work well. Neither of you should feel that the other is getting preferable treatment, or that his concerns matter less. N either is it the therapist's job to place blame on either of you for a problem in the marriage.
Don't misunderstand. You may not like what you hear, and that might be the perfect reason to stay with that therapist. However, if you do not feel your therapist understands what you are saying, or is not interested in you, or is emotionally vacant, or does not give you enough feedback, then find another therapist.