5 Ways to find a counselor

November 18, 2022

5 Ways to Find a Counselor

It can be an intimidating task to find a counselor that is right for you. How do you know what to look for? How much should it cost? Where do you find them? Will they have availability to take on a new client? Are there specific things you should be looking for? It is unfortunate how overwhelming all of the questions can be. And at a time when you are obviously looking for support, i believe it shouldn't be so hard. Finding the right support and assistance to help you reach your goals should be easy. I decided to create this go to guide to make the process of finding the right counselor simple.

What factors to consider

In todays world, virtual counseling has become extremely common. You need to decide if you prefer in person sessions vs. virtual sessions. There are benefits and drawbacks for each of these approaches. Virtual counseling has the advantage of not needing to live in the same area as your counselor, so you will have a wider selection of professionals to choose from. You also eliminate the drive to the office which saves you time. However, some people prefer the human connection of in person visits that virtual sessions just can't quite mimic. I believe that it is truly a personal preference.

The next thing to consider is your budget. How much are you willing and able to spend on therapy? Do you have insurance and is it necessary for your counselor to accept your insurance? Or will you go with the option of self pay? If you have a spouse this might need to be a discussion you have with them to determine what you are willing to invest and what you are capable of spending on your mental health.

Not all counselors treat all conditions, so it will be important for you to find out what conditions they specialize in helping clients with. Treating anxiety requires a different skill set than say for example grief at the loss of a loved one. The same can be said between couples counseling and depression treatment. Make sure your new counselor has a strong skill set in the symptoms you are wanting to be treated.

Treatment modality's are the approaches counselors use to treat certain conditions. Not every counselor is well-versed in all of these modalities so if you are seeking a specific kind of therapy approach, make sure to pay particular attention to this detail. Do you want a counselor that is knowledgeable in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) because you want a more skills based experience? Do you have trauma that needs to be attended to? In this case you might prefer to look for a counselor who specializes in EMDR, accelerated resolution therapy or trauma focused approaches.

Some counselors specialize in specific age groups so this is a consideration to focus on. Some counselors only see clients above the age of 18. So make sure this is a question you get the answer to before booking with a counselor. You might also prefer a specific gender in a counselor which is your right as a client.

So now that we know what we are looking for when we are seeking therapeutic support, what are the ways we can actually go about it?

5 ways to find a counselor

  1. Ask your primary care physician for a referral. Doctors and counselors work closely together and your doctor will be able to refer you to a local counselor. In fact, most healthcare providers will likely be able to give you a good recommendation.

  1. Ask your friends if they would recommend a counselor they know or have heard of. You might be surprised by just how many people find they need a counselor at some point in their lives.

  1. Of course, i have to mention Google. You can always search for counselors in your local area and look at their websites to see if you are interested.

  1. One thing alot of people do not think about when they are searching for a counselor is calling their insurance company and asking which counselors in their area accept their insurance.

  1. I saved the best for last. Psychology Today is, at least in my opinion, the best way to find a counselor in your area. There are an amazing number of filters that you can choose from to make sure that you find the right counselor. All of the items to consider that i mentioned above are filters that you can use to find the perfect fit for your venture into therapy. From insurances accepted to modality, you can filter for it all!

Asking for help can be difficult but seeking growth and change is an admirable and respectable direction to take. You deserve to live the life you desire. I hope this blog was helpful!


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