Selection of a good psychological counselor shouldn’t be a hurried affair. This is a vital choice and needs substantial deliberation before finalizing the selection. Finding the best counselor near you could be a real challenge because it is not advisable to depend on anything that is available in the market.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports, more than 30 million Americans need counselors to deal with mental issues and feelings that seem to be beyond their control. Since this is a mind-to-mind interaction, your counselor should be someone with whom you can feel comfortable and connected.
A clinical psychologist is available and some search and efforts can get you one. Still, there are certain elements that matter a lot. Looks do make a difference. You may not open up completely to a psychiatrist just for his unconventional looks no matter how experienced and qualified he might be.
A guide to finding the best counselor near you:
Finding the best counselor might be a frustrating affair sometimes but you shouldn’t leave the ground. To choose the right therapist, you may have to spend more time, give efforts and hold on to your patience. The following steps would help in serving your purpose well.
How far is the counselor located? Will it be possible for you to avail his counseling? This matters a lot especially if you need frequent sittings. In the worst case of unavailability of the right counselor nearby, you may need to take some pains in travelling. Since the treatment matters above all, getting the best counselor is imperative. You may at least look for the nearest best option.
Researching a therapist and getting acquainted with the types of therapy he carries out is of crucial significance. The outcome of his counseling will depend on how well this exploration has been done at your end. Common types of therapy are individual therapy, group therapy, couples and family therapy.
Focus on experience:
All therapists do not have experience in all the areas of mental illness. One may specialize in a specific area while another may be conversant with a different area altogether. While finding the best counselor you should make your choice according to the type of psychological disorders you are going to get treated.
Try to get an early acquaintance with the method of treatment:
Get an early connection with the therapist and try to acquire some insight into his treatment philosophy. Shoot your questions to check whether you feel at home with his treatment procedure. Qualified psychotherapists exist but more important is how comfortable you are with him.
Find out whether he carries a valid license or not:
Therapists practice and do cure people though all of them do not have a license. Check out from your state license board whether the therapist you would like to see carries a valid license. It is equally important to locate if the license is in force as on date.
See if he/she has a clean practice record. If you are covered for the treatment of your mental illness, find out whether the therapist is aware of your insurance policy. You can check these details online.
Never compromise on your therapist:
If you feel that you are seeing your therapist for some time but things are simply not working out the way they should, you can always switch to another. Keep your search alive until you are comfortable with all the pre-requisites your therapist. Keep in mind that mental health is a vital part of your overall health. If treated wrongly, it can invite disasters.
Try to source information from known acquaintances:
Find out from your friends and relatives if they have information about reliable counselors. Some of them may have previous experiences and their words of mouth will be vital. Truly, it is one trustworthy source of finding the best counselor. Get a list of referrals from them about the clinical psychologists.
You have online access to a panel of good therapists if you engage your search engine in a proper way. You can look at the therapists’ directory and make your selection. Don’t go for those bent on self-promotion. Rather it would be better to select one who discusses their working philosophy.
A picture can reveal much:
Talking of the therapists’ directory, it can be quite useful for finding the best counselor especially when they display their profile picture. Qualified psychotherapists are sometimes obsessed with their image and upload shots of their hobbies and favorite pursuits like golfing and fishing. These won’t mean much when coming to the question of offering effective medical remedies. You can put these image-conscious therapists in your rejection list to narrow your quest.
Gender might matter:
Although the profession of psychological therapy assures equal rights to practice irrespective of gender, a patient may have some bias. It is always advisable to select a gender of the therapist with whom you feel comfortable.
- Look for a therapist who works in a family oriented framework and assess your issues taking into account the role family members play around you.
- Look for a behavioral, narrative and result oriented therapist.
- Look for a conceptual therapist.
- Go for a psychodynamic therapist if you want to alter your thought process altogether.
Give him a phone call:
An effective way to choose the right therapist is to ring him up if you have his phone number. Sometimes from the initial conversation and response, you can feel that this is the man you were looking for. The voice and tone reveal a lot.
Observe the attitude:
Besides, there are other ways to find out whether the counselor you are looking for really meets your requirements. This again depends upon the attitude of the therapist, like:
- Whether he is transparent and honest enough to admit his mistakes. What feedback he is interested to receive on the outcome of his treatment?
- Does the counselor look for consultation with his co-professionals?
- Does the counselor place before you a clear-cut strategy to sort out your mental issues and work out solutions?
- Does the therapist follow the independence of a patient? A good therapist will enable you to solve your own problems rather than doing it for you.
You can evaluate your therapist in the premises of the above test checks.
Is the therapist a good communicator?
A good counselor is expected to be a good communicator. He lays out before the patient the road map to his treatment. There may be unique techniques in their approach which they should not hesitate to divulge in their website. This helps you have a guess how everything would pan out once you are in a counseling session with him.