Written by: Courtney Kershaw
Are you a person? Great! Then counseling could be for you.
I know it’s not quite that simple, but the essence is true. One common experience is that people start looking for counseling support when they are in crisis. It’s urgent, it can be chaotic, and if you can’t find someone quickly it can be overwhelming.
The truth is that you don’t need to be in crisis to get support.
Many people, couples, families, and individuals alike all find benefits in having routine check-ins with someone who is there to just support life along the way. It can actually help decrease some of those crisis moments, lessen the impact, and give you resources to manage your experiences differently.
So whether you find yourself in need of more immediate support, or if you’re just looking around for someone to be a resource, here are some tips for starting out.
What do you want support for?
Is there something specific coming up? Looking for a therapist who has a specialty in the area that you want support can a great way to find a fit.
Do you just want general support and a safe place to go be human for a little while? Great! Therapy is an excellent place to decompress and get some feedback about whatever is going on in your life.
What are your must-haves?
Knowing what times of day/days of the week your available, how frequently you want to meet, how far your able to commute if you want an in-person session, how comfortable you are with the idea of in-person versus virtual, and what fee you can afford are all important components of finding a therapy setting that will be the best fit for you.
What do you look for?
Do you do better with a therapist who leads the sessions, is directive, and gives you “homework”? Or do you prefer someone who asks questions, lets you lead, and gives gentle feedback with support? Do you want a mix of both, or something else entirely?
Do you want a therapist that has similar demographics (age, gender, sexuality, religion, education, etc.)?
If it’s your first time starting therapy, you may not know exactly what style fits you best. That’s okay! When you’re meeting with a new therapist it’s okay to ask questions about how they approach therapy to see if they feel like they are going to be a good fit for you.
It’s also okay to keep checking in along the way to see if things feel like they’re working for you or if you need something different.
How do you find someone?
Fortunately most therapists will have a website that gives some information about themselves, their practice, and some basics about scheduling and fees.
If you have health insurance with mental health benefits or if your employer has an employee assistance program, going through their resource center can also be a great way to find support that fits your financial needs.
Another great resource is therapy specific search engines, like Psychology Today that let you input specific search criteria to find the best fit. You can also specify that you only want to see therapists with current openings to decrease the wait time for scheduling.
Friends can also be a great resource. If someone you know is in counseling, and if it feels comfortable enough to talk about, ask them how they found their therapist and what they like about it, or what they would look for differently next time.
So if you’re thinking of getting started with counseling, these can be helpful first steps to get you on your way! You can also follow the links below to find out more about individual, couples, and family counseling services.
For more information on our services, click here: Couples Therapy
For more information on our services, click here: Infidelity Therapy
For more information on our services, click here: Premarital Therapy
For more information on our services, click here: Family Therapy
For more information on our services, click here: Individual Therapy