HOW TO FIND A COUNSELOR
Finding a good counselor can seem like a daunting process for many people. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions I receive. To help you with this process, I put together this brief check list to get you started:
1. The most common route to finding a counselor (or pretty much anything these days) is by doing an internet search. You want to make sure you are searching for a Christian Licensed Counselor. There are many people who use the term “counselor” that may be pastorally certified, but not licensed by the state. The term “licensed” is really what you’re looking for, as they are trained professionals who have undergone a specific amount of training and education.
2. Usually, a counselor’s biography will list some of their areas of specialty such as sex therapy, trauma, depression and anxiety, addictions, etc. Try to connect with a counselor that serves your specific area of struggle. Feel free to give them a call or send an email before scheduling your first session asking them what type of therapy they typically use, how many years they’ve been in practice, as well as how they integrate the Christian faith into their clinical approach.
3. Remember that when it comes to finding a good counselor, it’s all about finding someone you feel comfortable with. The therapeutic relationship between you and your counselor is important, but it’s not uncommon not to “hit it off” right away. I always recommend trying 3-6 sessions with a counselor before you attempt to find another one. If after a handful of sessions, you don’t feel the connection or don’t feel comfortable, by all means don’t quit! There’s no offense taken if you don’t connect, the only true offense is if you give up on your situation! Reach out to another counselor (and in some cases even another and another) and try again.
4. Always remember that healing is not linear…it’s cyclical. What I mean by that is you don’t just get “better and better” each day. Sometimes you’ll take a few steps forward and one step back. Sometimes you’ll struggle. Sometimes you’ll want to give up. But the key is to continue moving forward, because as you do, you’re getting healthier and stronger and closer to your goals. Healing is not only possible, it’s attainable for those who are willing to put in the work.
5. Below you’ll find a list of resources, referrals, and even the option of connecting with me for your counseling and therapy.
DEBRA FILETA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates, and Love In Every Season and Are You Really OK?. She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or book an online session with her today!