In our last blog we talked about how to find a counselor in Wake Forest, NC. You followed those easy steps and you have a few people to reach out to. Now the question is, “What do I ask a potential counselor?” It can seem a little intimidating, right? How can you know whether this person is going to be the best fit for you? We have ten questions to get you started and we’ll talk about the first five here.
Question 1 – How often do you work with clients like me who are struggling with…?
Hopefully it was obvious from their website they have experience with what you need, but how often do they work with people like you? If you’re struggling with anxiety how often do they see clients with anxiety? If you’re recovering from past abuse, how often do they work with clients who’ve experienced abuse? This should be an easy answer for a therapist. If you’re looking for help with depression and find the therapist you’ve contacted only ever worked with one client with depression you might want to consider whether they are the best fit for what you need.
Question 2 – What is your general approach to counseling?
Whatever they say should fit for you. If they say, “During sessions we color the entire time as we talk” and that isn’t a style that gels with you the therapist may not be a good fit. On the other hand, that may sound amazing and exactly what you’re looking for!
Question 3 – Are you more directive or less directive?
There is not right or wrong answer here – it’s what works best for you. If you need a therapist who’s a bit more directive that style will work better for you. If you absolutely hate feeling controlled, very directive may not be ideal. Another part of this question is how are they directive or less directive. What does that mean to them and how does it look? Ask for some specific examples. “Directive” can mean different things to different people so getting more information on what that looks like from the therapist is super helpful.
Question 4 – How often are appointments?
This is going to vary by therapist. Depending on the style of a therapist and the issues facing the client, there could be a different rhythm. For example, a therapist who sees primarily children may see the child one week and the parent/caregiver the following week. Also, ask why the therapist sees people at those intervals. We see clients weekly because research shows that is how you feel better the fastest and how you create lasting change.
Question 5 – What is a typical session like and how long are sessions?
This can give you an idea of the rhythm of a counseling session. If the counselor you called only does 90-minute sessions and you’re hoping they’ll see your 5-year-old you might want to get more information because that’s a long session for a little kiddo! If you’re looking for marriage counseling and the sessions are only 45 minutes long how are they structured so the work can get done?
We hope these first five questions help you get started with a counselor in Wake Forest, NC. Next time we’ll cover five more questions to help you determine if a therapist is the best fit for you. If you’d like to find out more about working with us, feel free to reach out at 919-891-0525 to schedule your free, 15-minute consultation. We’d love to see if we are a great fit for you and help you get your journey back to joy started!