Finding the Right Counselor
It can be easy to find a counselor, but not if the best is the only one you want. There are many questions you have to ask to help you make a good decision. Below are such:
Can the counselor tell you how he can help with your concerns or issues?
Good counselors will happily tell you their plans for your sessions, their style and how you might tell that therapy is finished.
Does the counselor tend to make the counselee dependent or independent?
Good therapy is aimed at allowing you to solve your problems yourself. If the counselor seems to provide everything for you and doesn’t encourage you to use your own resources, you will probably end up being dependent on him to feel better, instead of relying on yourself.
Does the counselor have experience with cases identical to yours?
The more experience a counselor gains in a particular type of case, the more he becomes an expert at it as well.
Does the counselor promise you anything?
Counselors should give their counselees hope, not guarantees. If you’re really willing to change and put in the necessary time and effort, you will achieve your goal.
Does the counselor abide by ethical principles in the profession?
Many ethical guidelines are in place to keep counselors from harming their counselees. One of the most important is the guideline against dual relationships. A counselor is there to provide for your counseling needs, and never to have you meet of his own needs, whether emotional or otherwise.
Does the counselor have a license?
A licensed counselor is a counselor who passed a state licensing exam and had extensive postgraduate counseling experience, which usually includes supervised counseling experience of up to 3,000 hours, depending on the state.
Does the counselor have a graduate degree?
Some people are quick to consider themselves as counselors or therapists just because they have finished a short course on a particular therapeutic approach. You’d like a professional who has a graduate degree in family therapy, counseling, marriage, or any other similar area. This is the person who is skilled and trained enough to give you effective as well as safe counseling.
Does the counselor have any complaints filed with the board?Are there any complaints filed against the counselor with the board?
If so, study the complaints and how they were resolved. To check, contact your state licensing board, specifically the state department of health or occupational licensing.
Are you comfortable?
Lastly, how does the counselor make you feel like when you’re sitting with him? Do you find it easy to talk? This part is very simple. If you and the counselor don’t seem to “click,” then find someone else. It’s pointless getting therapy from a person you don’t even have any chemistry with. Chemistry will pave the way for free conversations, which are a hallmark of effective therapy.