In recent posts, I have been trying to demystify counseling in order to make it more approachable for those who have never experienced it before. Once you come to the realization that you may benefit from counseling and want to give it a try, the next step is to find a counselor or therapist that you are comfortable working with. I know that this can feel like an overwhelming task and that is the reason that I have written this series of posts specifically focused on finding a counselor.
In order to choose a counselor, you first need to have some options to consider. There are several ways in which you could compile a short list of counselors that you want to research further.
Find a Counselor Via Personal Referrals
I find that people are often most comfortable taking recommendations from someone they know and trust. If you feel comfortable letting people in your life know that you are trying to find a counselor this may be a good way to start your search. For example:
- Ask trusted friends or family members for the name of a counselor that they would recommend.
- Speak to your primary care provider and request recommendations from him or her. It is generally a good idea to keep your primary care providers in the loop on additional services that you receive anyway.
- If you work with other professionals who may have working relationships with counselors feel free to ask them for recommendations, too. For example, your child’s teacher or your attorney.
- If you have a casual relationship with a counselor, he or she may also be a good person to reach out to for a recommendation because counselors often have a good sense of their colleagues’ personalities and approaches to counseling and can make strong referrals. Often times people who I have interacted with in the community reach out to me for recommendations and referrals.
Find a Counselor Though Other Options
If you prefer not to ask for personal recommendations for a counselor there are also other options to consider.
- If you have medical insurance and plan to use it for your counseling services, you can consult your insurance company to determine which providers in your area are considered in network for your insurance plan. This can often be done either via phone or online.
- You can also use online therapy directories to search for a therapist in your area.
Once you have a list of counselors that you want to consider, I suggest doing some preliminary research to narrow down your list. Post two in this series will take a look at some factors that you may want to consider as you narrow down your list and choose the counselor that is the best fit for you.
Please feel free to visit my Counseling page to learn more about the counseling services I offer in the Eagan, Minnesota area.