Finding the Right CounselorJuly 30, 2012
After everything is said and done, and the legal fight is over, our clients frequently ask where or how they should find a counselor who can help.
It’s a brave and noble thing to look for child sex abuse counseling, so finding a qualified therapist or counselor is key.
There are certain things to consider.
1. You may be limited to certain types of providers, so check with your health insurance. You can also check The American Psychological Association’s psychologist locator to find professionals near you.
2.If you don’t have insurance, look into social workers and counselors available in your community at community health centers, local non-profits, and organizations that are able to help with the issues you’re facing, or nearby schools and universities. Keep in mind that, while these may be more affordable, their staffs are usually overloaded with cases and there may be long waiting lists before you can see someone.
3. Don’t be discouraged. Broaden your search and treat mental health like any other aspect of health. If you had a physical disease, you wouldn’t stop looking for help just because the doctors in your town were unavailable. The same should be true for mental health. Call them. Make a brief list of counselors, social workers or psychologists you’re thinking of seeing, either based on their proximity to your home or office, their office hours, their compatibility with your health insurance or recommendations by others. You may also be able to give them a general idea of what your concern is and they may be able to tell you if the person you’d like to see is experienced in that matter. If you’re calling a private practice or a counselor who works from a home office, you’ll likely have the opportunity to speak directly to them. Make sure you get the same answers, especially with regard to whether they can work with your insurance and whether they can help with your situation. Don’t forget to ask about the details: the therapist’s education and license, his or her experience and history, and the specialists philosophies toward mental health and illness, specifically what you’re dealing with.
4. Make an educated decision. Once you’ve spoken to a few candidates, weigh your options like you would if you were interviewing someone for a job. After all, you’re about to pay them money to help you with a task you need help with, they should all make you comfortable with the thought of speaking with them and give you an idea whether or not they can help you or see you as often as you’d like.
In some cases, it can come down to word of mouth. If you have friends or family members who has had good experiences with a specific counselor or psychologist, contact them and see if they can assist you. It comes down to you. It’s important to feel comfortable with your counselors so you can get the best out of your time with them.