171 Questions to Ask a Marriage Counselor

Marriage counseling is one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship with your partner. It can help you and your spouse work through conflict, identify communication issues, and build a healthier relationship in the long run.

But before you go to counseling, it’s important to do some research on marriage counselors and find the right fit for you and your partner. Remember, the questions you bring to the table are more than mere conversation starters; they’re the golden keys to unlocking the full benefits of your sessions.

So, let’s dive in and discover what to ask to make the most of this opportunity for your marriage. Here is a list of important questions you should ask any potential marriage counselor before committing to a session.

Counselor’s Background and Method

  1. What certifications or qualifications do you have in marriage counseling?
  2. How many years of experience do you have in this field?
  3. Can you describe your counseling philosophy?
  4. What therapeutic approaches do you primarily use in sessions?
  5. Have you worked with couples who have similar issues to ours?
  6. How do you customize your approach to fit different couples?
  7. In what ways do you keep up with the latest research in marriage counseling?
  8. Can you share success stories without compromising confidentiality?
  9. How do you handle resistance from one partner during counseling?
  10. Do you offer any resources or tools outside of sessions to support couples?
  11. What role do you believe a marriage counselor should play in conflict resolution?
  12. How might marriage counseling differ from individual therapy in your approach?
  13. Are you trained in cultural competence and counseling diverse couples?
  14. How do you incorporate family dynamics into your counseling process?
  15. Do you provide any form of spiritual or faith-based counseling if requested?
  16. How do you measure the effectiveness of your counseling methods?
  17. How do you ensure neutrality and avoid taking sides in marital disputes?
  18. Have you ever referred couples to other specialists, and under what circumstances?
  19. How do you approach sensitive topics like infidelity or trust issues?


  1. What are your available appointment times for sessions?
  2. How long does each counseling session typically last?
  3. Is there a particular structure you follow for each session?
  4. Do you offer remote counseling sessions via video calls?
  5. How far in advance do we need to schedule our sessions?
  6. What is the best way to contact you in case we need to reschedule?
  7. What happens if we miss a session due to an emergency?
  8. Do you require an initial consultation before beginning therapy?
  9. Can you accommodate a request for extra sessions if needed?
  10. How is the progress tracked between sessions?
  11. Are we expected to complete homework or exercises outside of sessions?
  12. What forms of payment do you accept?
  13. Is counseling available on weekends or evenings?
  14. Do you have a cancellation policy we should be aware of?
  15. Are there any activities or worksheets we should do before our first session?
  16. How do you handle confidentiality in joint sessions?
  17. Can you work within a limited time frame if we have one?
  18. In the case of further lockdowns or restrictions, how will sessions continue?
  19. Is there a waiting area or any specific protocol we need to follow upon arrival?

Goals and Expectations

  1. How can we set realistic expectations for our counseling experience?
  2. What goals should we aim to achieve throughout our counseling sessions?
  3. How would you work with us to tailor our goals specifically to our needs?
  4. How often should we revisit and adjust our goals throughout the process?
  5. What can we do to maximize the effectiveness of our work together in counseling?
  6. How do you recommend handling differences in desired outcomes?
  7. Can you help us understand what progress may look like in our sessions?
  8. What would be considered a successful outcome in marriage counseling?
  9. How do we maintain or continue our progress after counseling ends?
  10. How should we prioritize the issues we want to address in counseling?
  11. Do you assist with creating a timeline for achieving our goals?
  12. How will we know if we are on the right track toward our counseling goals?
  13. In what ways can we contribute to the success of the counseling process?
  14. How will you help us manage our expectations during challenging times?
  15. If our goals are not being met, how will the counseling strategy be adjusted?
  16. What is the role of feedback within the goal-setting process?
  17. How do you involve both partners in goal-setting and progress discussions?
  18. How can long-term goals be integrated into the counseling process?
  19. How should we define and measure intangible goals like increased happiness or satisfaction?

Addressing Issues

  1. What is the best way to bring up sensitive issues during counseling?
  2. How can we address past hurts and resentments effectively?
  3. What techniques do you use to help couples communicate better?
  4. How should we handle disagreements that arise during a session?
  5. Can you help us manage and resolve chronic arguments or deadlocked conflicts?
  6. What strategies do you recommend for improving trust and rebuilding a connection?
  7. How do you facilitate discussions around intimacy or sexual concerns?
  8. What advice can you give for staying calm and collected when discussing hot-button issues?
  9. How do we maintain a constructive dialogue outside of therapy sessions?
  10. Are there particular methods to handle escalating conflicts during sessions?
  11. How would you address situations where one partner is considering separation?
  12. What is the healthiest way to cope with feelings of guilt or blame in the relationship?
  13. Can you provide guidance on improving active listening between partners?
  14. Is it possible to recover from infidelity through counseling, and how do you approach it?
  15. How do you recommend addressing inconsistencies in parenting styles?
  16. What’s your approach to handling external stressors that impact our relationship?
  17. How can we ensure that our individual needs are being respected and addressed?
  18. Can you assist in mediating disputes over financial decisions?
  19. How do we keep the counseling environment safe and supportive for both partners?

Tracking Progress

  1. How do you gauge the progress of a couple in counseling?
  2. What indicators should we look for to assess our improvement?
  3. How often will we review our progress together in sessions?
  4. Can we expect to see incremental changes, or should we anticipate a pivotal moment of progress?
  5. How do you provide feedback on our progress, and is it ongoing or periodic?
  6. Is it necessary for both partners to progress at the same rate, and how do we handle discrepancies?
  7. What tools or metrics do you use to track the couple’s progress?
  8. How do we ensure that temporary setbacks do not derail our overall progress?
  9. Is there a way to quantify emotional developments, or is progress more subjective?
  10. How might we deal with the feeling of stagnation or lack of progress?
  11. Can you share examples of how previous clients have successfully measured their progress?
  12. How does setting short-term goals aid in tracking long-term progress?
  13. What role does self-reflection play in recognizing personal and relational growth?
  14. In case of little to no progress, what steps do you recommend taking?
  15. How can we stay motivated and focused on our goals during the counseling process?
  16. Does progress in counseling typically lead to immediate changes at home?
  17. How transparent will you be about our progress and any potential concerns you might have?
  18. Can journaling or documenting our thoughts between sessions help in tracking progress?
  19. What responsibility do we have in monitoring our own progress, and how can we be proactive?

Personal Readiness

  1. How can I prepare mentally and emotionally for our first counseling session?
  2. What should I do if I’m feeling resistant or skeptical about the counseling process?
  3. How much personal history should I be ready to discuss in therapy?
  4. What are some ways I can be open to change and growth through counseling?
  5. How can I communicate my boundaries and comfort levels to you as our counselor?
  6. What can I do if I start feeling overwhelmed during sessions?
  7. How can we, as a couple, support each other in applying what we’ve learned in counseling?
  8. Is it normal to feel nervous about sharing personal issues with a counselor, and how can we overcome that?
  9. What are the signs that I’m making progress personally within counseling?
  10. Should I consider individual therapy alongside our marriage counseling sessions?
  11. In what ways can personal stress affect our counseling, and how should we address it?
  12. What kind of self-care should I practice during the counseling process?
  13. How do I maintain the confidentiality of our sessions with friends and family?
  14. How can I ensure that I’m giving honest feedback about the counseling process?
  15. What if I realize I have individual issues that need more focus during the process?
  16. How can I set personal goals to work on in conjunction with our joint counseling goals?
  17. How do I handle feelings of vulnerability or discomfort when discussing private matters?
  18. What steps can I take if I feel I’m not benefiting from the counseling as much as my partner?
  19. Can the communication skills from counseling be used in other relationships, such as with family and friends?


  1. How is confidentiality maintained in our sessions as a couple?
  2. Are there any circumstances under which our session details would be disclosed to others?
  3. Can we specify who has access to our counseling records?
  4. How do you ensure privacy when we are attending virtual counseling sessions?
  5. What steps should we take if one of us wants to share something privately with you?
  6. How are digital communications between us kept secure and confidential?
  7. Will our session notes be accessible to us if we request them?
  8. Is any of our information shared with third parties, for any reason?
  9. How are sensitive topics handled to protect each person’s privacy?
  10. What is your policy on discussing our case as part of your professional supervision?
  11. Can information from our sessions be used in legal proceedings?
  12. How are records containing personal information stored and destroyed?
  13. Is there a way for us to provide anonymous feedback about our sessions?
  14. If we’re referred to another specialist, how much information will be shared with them?
  15. How do you handle accidental breaches of privacy and confidentiality?
  16. Will our insurance provider have access to details from our sessions?
  17. How can we communicate any concerns we have about privacy or confidentiality?
  18. If we engage in couple’s exercises at home, how can we ensure those remain confidential?
  19. How long are counseling records kept after we’ve completed our sessions?

Relationship Dynamics

  1. Can you help us understand our current relationship dynamics and patterns?
  2. How do we navigate differences in personality that might affect our relationship?
  3. What tools can help us strengthen our partnership during difficult times?
  4. How do we approach the topic of change within our relationship dynamic?
  5. Can you guide us on how to manage power imbalances in our relationship?
  6. How can we identify and address unhealthy patterns that repeat in our relationship?
  7. What role does our family history play in our current relationship dynamics?
  8. How do we build resilience as a couple to face external pressures?
  9. How can we ensure that both partners feel equally heard and understood?
  10. Can we explore relationship roles and expectations that may be contributing to conflict?
  11. How do we handle changes in intimacy within our relationship dynamic?
  12. In what ways can we work together to break the cycle of blame and criticism?
  13. How can we better understand and respect our individual differences?
  14. Can you provide insights into how life transitions can affect relationship dynamics?
  15. How can we constructively address jealousy or possessiveness?
  16. What strategies can we learn to handle conflict without damaging our relationship?
  17. How do we maintain our sense of self while being part of a couple?
  18. What advice can you give for staying connected during periods of stress or upheaval?
  19. How do we establish a balanced dynamic where both partners feel empowered?

Counseling Costs

  1. What are your fees per session for marriage counseling?
  2. Do you offer sliding scale rates or payment plans for couples with financial constraints?
  3. What is included in the cost of a session, and are there any additional fees we should be aware of?
  4. Will our insurance cover any portion of the marriage counseling fees?
  5. How are payments processed, and what forms of payment do you accept?
  6. Will we be charged for missed sessions, and what is your cancellation policy?
  7. Is there a different rate for extended or more frequent sessions if needed?
  8. Can we expect any additional costs for materials or resources provided during counseling?
  9. How does the cost of virtual sessions compare to in-person sessions?
  10. Do you offer package deals or discounts for booking multiple sessions in advance?
  11. Are there any costs associated with emergency sessions or calls?
  12. Will there be additional charges for completing assessments or questionnaires?
  13. Can you provide a detailed breakdown of costs before we begin counseling?
  14. What is the typical duration of the counseling process, and how can this affect the overall cost?
  15. Is financial documentation required if we are applying for a reduced rate?
  16. How are unforeseen expenses handled during the counseling process?
  17. Will there be a cost for any follow-up care or support after the conclusion of counseling?
  18. Can we adjust the frequency of sessions to better fit our budget?
  19. Are there community resources or programs available to help offset the cost of marriage counseling?

Frequently Asked Questions

What do marriage counselors actually do?

Think of marriage counselors as expert guides who help couples figure out their tangles and make their relationship stronger. They’re well-trained to be great listeners and problem-solvers, helping you and your other half resolve any squabbles and chit-chat more smoothly.

They’re kind of like superheroes for love, sometimes helping to rescue marriages!

How often should we visit a marriage counselor?

It’s all about what your relationship needs. Some couples might pop in once a week if they’re working through some heavy stuff, while others might just check in once in a while to keep things running smoothly. Like a relationship tune-up!

Can counseling really save a marriage?

Truth is, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. But yes, loads of couples have found their way back to happiness with the help of some solid counseling. What it boils down to is providing a place to hash things out and learn the tricks to deal with issues as a team.

If both of you are keen to give it a try, it could be what your marriage needs to bounce back!

Final Thoughts

Basically, asking these questions is like laying down the first bricks for a strong, teamwork-style journey in counseling. It’s about making sure that you and your counselor really ‘get’ each other, so you and your partner can head into each talk feeling ready and heard.

Finding the counselor who clicks with you both matters a ton—it’s the secret sauce for not just sorting out the now, but also for building a future where you keep getting closer. Every question you ask takes you one step forward to that awesome, happy-together kind of life you’re aiming for.

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant. When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.