This is our second post in the series on how to find a counselor. The first post focused on people or resources that you could contact in order to form a small list of potential counselors. This post will help you evaluate your list and choose who you want to work with.
One of the most important things that will help you be successful in counseling is working with a counselor that you feel comfortable with. Doing some preliminary research may help you determine who may be the best fit.
How to get information about a potential counselor:
- Talk to the person who referred you to the counselor
- Visit the counselor’s website
- Check to see if the counselor has social media accounts for his/her practice
- Send the counselor an email with any questions you have about him/her
- Call the counselor to request a brief phone consultation
Things to consider when choosing your counselor:
- What is your reason for seeking counseling and how experienced is the counselor in addressing that concern?
- What is your counselor’s approach to addressing your presenting concern? Do you feel comfortable with that approach?
- What are the counselor’s qualifications?
- What qualities in a counselor would help you feel most at ease? What qualities could a potential counselor possess that would make it difficult for you to share openly and honestly?
- How does the counselor’s office space make you feel?
- Logistics. If the logistics interfere with you be able to see your counselor regularly, counseling may not be as effective.
- Payment. How does the counselor handle payment for sessions? Some counselors accept medical insurance and others do not.
- Location. How easy will it be to get to sessions?
- Scheduling/availability. How soon can you get in for your initial appointment? How does the counselor schedule appointments? Does your availability match the counselor’s availability?
The questions outlined above are merely a guide for you in evaluating potential counselors. You do not need to know all of the above answers to make your choice. Focus on the areas that are most significant to you.
I hope that the posts in this series have helped you feel more confident in your ability to find a counselor that you feel comfortable working with.