When faced with personal, relationship, and family struggles, most Americans tend to turn to their therapist for help. Overall, four out of every 10 American adults (approximately 42%) have seen a counselor at least once in their lives. Finding the right therapist, however, can be a lengthy and overwhelming process. It would be impractical and impossible to call all professionals in a therapist finder website during your search. Here are five tips to help you narrow down your options.
1. Look at Credentials
It is essential to verify that the counselor has a valid and active license before enlisting for their services. However, it can be difficult to discern the therapist’s credentials which appear as initials after their name. To help you with that, here are some of the different mental health accreditations, depending on their specialization.
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Licensed Clinical Psychologist (LCP)
Always verify the therapist’s credentials through the local state board. A licensed professional will pass all board examinations, attain the necessary supervised hours, and abide by the required code of ethics.
2. Find Out Their Approach to Therapy
The theoretical orientation of your preferred therapist is another crucial factor to keep in mind. It may be a tricky one to decipher, as you may get lost in much of the psychology jargon. However, it is still essential to find out their area of expertise and how they can help you with your situation. Reading through their bio on their website can provide all the necessary information that you need.
3. Discern Affordability
A recent survey by The Mental Health America estimates that 56% of the 40 million Americans with mental health issues do not seek professional help due to high fees or insufficient insurance for therapy. It is essential to find a therapist that takes insurance. The first step is to find out the accreditations accepted by your insurer. You can then ask for a payment plan from your therapist according to sessions you may need.
4. Take Advantage of a Complimentary Call
Online directories such as Collective Counselling Solutions have hundreds of qualified therapists available with contact details displayed. For counselors who offer a brief consultation call, you can use the time to find out if they are the right fit for you. Ask about where they went to school and their specialty. What do they enjoy most about their work? Which therapy orientation do they subscribe to? You are out to look for warmth, genuineness, and empathy in the therapist.
5. Notice How You Feel
It may feel strange and outright awkward to be vulnerable to a stranger. You need to feel comfortable to express yourself while in their presence. A 2014 report by an American Psychology Association Taskforce found out that a therapeutic relationship matters much more than the type of therapy used. Follow your intuition as you make your choice, making your preference for age, gender, and religion. The therapeutic alliance will allow you to share things you have never told anyone without fear of judgment.
To reap the full benefits of therapy, you need to choose the right counselor to share your mental health issues. Find a new therapist that is warm, reliable, and within your given price range. Collective Counselling Solutions makes it easy to choose the right fit for you.