If you have decided to seek therapy, congratulations. You are not alone. About 40 million adults in the United States join you in taking charge of your mental health and wellness. Maybe you are looking to improve your marriage or an important relationship. Perhaps you have experienced a loss or trauma. Even life’s joyous events like buying a new home or having a baby can be filled with challenges. Anytime a new phase of life begins, it is important to pay attention to your changing emotions. As you search for a counselor that is right for you, there are several factors to consider.
Finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with is an excellent start, but how can you narrow down your search? This article will help. Ideally, you be able to identify a therapist you can connect with – success in counseling is dependent on bonding with your therapist in some way and trusting them to help you to achieve personal growth. Before you begin your journey, it is important to research the options available to you, consider your needs and reach out to your community for resources.
Here are some of our key tips for finding the right counselor to help you reach your goals.
1. Search your plan's directory
A good way to narrow down a list of available therapists to consider is to start by making a list of providers within your network. Many providers, such as Mobile Counseling of New York, offer in-home, remote or virtual online counseling options. If you find a counselor you want to consider but they are not close to your home, consider contacting them to find out if they offer this service.
2. Talk to friends, family and your physician
Trusted referrals from people in your personal circle is a great way to find a qualified therapist that may be right for you – but it is important to note that your goals may differ from those of your friends and family. Each person has different needs, and referrals are not always a perfect fit. Be sure to make a list of questions for your counselor, and do not be afraid to establish your expectations up front.
3. Consider the type of setting you are looking for
Now more than ever, people are looking for flexible options to meet others. Living through a global pandemic has required many of us to conduct business and personal meetings through facetime, zoom, and other virtual platforms. If you are seeking an alternative to in-person therapy, look for a provider that offers virtual counseling.
If you are comfortable with in-person counseling, but limited to your home environment, some counseling services provide in-home treatment. At Mobile Counseling of New York, clinicians come to you, via in-home visits or online counseling sessions.
4. Look for options available in your community
Students in particular will want to consider options that are provided by their schools. Many universities offer free access to on-campus counseling centers that can provide students with valuable resources for a wide spectrum of emotional issues.
Group counseling and meetings are often available for victims of sexual abuse or domestic abuse. Support groups are also common for addiction and loss. These group settings can be valuable for patients to understand the struggles of others and know they are not alone.
5. Interview your potential counselor
Humans are unique individuals, and each human experience is a unique one. Connection is an important thing to establish when bonding with your counselor, and there are a variety of factors that can come into play. Some of us may feel more comfortable receiving therapy from an individual in our age range or gender. Others may be seeking someone who specializes in a particular disorder. Ask questions and let your therapist know what you are looking for.
Although you may be tempted to select a counselor that closely matches your profile, consider this: a well-educated counselor is an experienced, mature professional who has undergone extensive training in counseling. They have received license(s) to practice and treat a range of conditions. Keeping an open mind can be helpful when searching for the right counselor.
There are a wide range of factors that come into play when you are looking for a therapist. Consider that you may not find the right fit on your first try. The most important thing to remember is that you are taking control of your mental health and wellness, which are investments that will last a lifetime.
For more information on in-home counseling and online counseling services, visit Mobile Counseling of New York.