Below you will find helpful suggestions to consider when looking for mental health counseling services. Keep in mind that not every counselor will be a good fit for you, so be patient when searching for someone that fits all your criteria. Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable with your counselor, keep looking. A counselor that understands you and fits your needs perfectly does exist. It just takes time.
Type of Counselor
The type of mental health counselor you seek is important depending on the type of struggle you are experiencing. For relational support, find different marriage and family therapists in your area. If your children are in need of counseling support, research different play therapists who are educated and certified in play therapy to help you. For struggles pertaining to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, seek a counselor who is well trained in matters of individual counseling. Many types of counselors exist, so narrow down the type of struggle you are experiencing and then seek support from an appropriate counselor.
When searching for a counselor, ask as many questions as you see fit. When calling different counseling practices, it’s important to ask about credentials of the counselor you are seeking, hours of the counseling practice, fees associated with the counseling practice, and the location of the practice. Find out if the practice has access to psychiatrists who can help manage medication if needed, and also be curious if the practice accepts forms of insurance. Feeling comfortable with the counseling practice will encourage your commitment to counseling. If you feel uncomfortable or are confused about anything, ask a question or speak with someone who will be able to help you feel more comfortable.
Set an Appointment
When you have located a counselor who seems to be a good fit for you, set an appointment with that person. Setting an initial appointment does not mean that you must continue to see the counselor on an ongoing basis. Meeting the counselor for the first time will help you confirm that the counselor meets your needs, and if the counselor does not meet your needs, then you can continue your search for a counselor who does. Counselors understand that they are not a good fit for every type of client and will help you locate a better match for your specific needs. Don’t be afraid to speak with your counselor about feeling uncomfortable or wanting to look for other options. In most cases, your counselor will be incredibly supportive of your decision.
As you look for a mental health counselor, remind yourself that finding the right counselor can take time. Don’t settle for a counselor who will be unable to meet your needs. Taking time to locate the right counselor will provide you with the support you desire and will encourage your commitment to counseling.
Written By: Kristie Watts
Kristie Watts is a Marriage and Family Therapy Resident at Groff and Associates Counseling. Her passions are grief and loss, parent/child relationships, and pregnancy related struggles. If you are interested in seeing a counselor and think that Kristie may be a good fit, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.