Something needs to change. Maybe you’ve been experiencing distress for a while, or maybe you’ve only recently begun struggling. Perhaps you’ve heard about the benefits that mental health counseling can offer and finally decided it’s time to talk to someone. But the question remains: “Where can I get mental health counseling near me?”
Unfortunately, many people feel overwhelmed when they begin searching for mental health support. After all, there are so many things to consider. Which credentials matter? What is a reasonable fee? Should you consider traditional therapy, or is it worth checking out online therapy options?
Let’s unpack what you need to know.
Tips For Finding A Mental Health Counselor
First, you must consider what your counseling needs are. What are you currently struggling with? Which goals do you want to set for yourself or your family? Do you need individual support, or are you seeking relationship therapy as a couple or for your marriage?
Some people enter therapy knowing exactly what they want to achieve. Many people want support for depression, anxiety or some or other type of phobia. Additionally, if you’ve been trying to cope with the passing of a loved-one, you might want guidance for dealing with grief.
However, therapy goals aren’t always that apparent and some people aren’t exactly sure what they need. They just know they need help. These people usually know something is “off.” They just aren’t sure what they’re supposed to do about it. Which is reasonable. Fortunately, the right mental health counselor can help to assess and prioritize the work you need to do.
When selecting a mental health counselor, you must consider several factors. Let’s break them down.
Type of Counseling Service
Counselors have different specialties and preferences. Some focus on working with individuals while others specialize in couples or family therapy. You should consider your specific goals to determine the best counseling for you. If you’re not sure, you could ask if your counselor offers more assistance to help you establish the most suitable treatment approach. All therapists have different areas of expertise. If a therapist does not specialize in the kind of treatment you need, they will most likely refer you to a specialist.
Type of Counselor
The term “counselor” is an umbrella term. Many professionals hold this position. In fact, all of the following are all considered to be counselors:
- Marriage and family therapists
- Social clinical workers
- Licensed professional clinical counselors
- Case managers
- Certified drug and alcohol counselors
All counselors must adhere to certain legal and ethical requirements. They must also complete a designated number of coursework assignments and internship hours. If you aren’t sure about a potential counselor’s credentials, just ask. Counselors must exercise transparency when sharing their education and licenses.
All counselors work from a theoretical framework. The framework refers to how they understand your struggles. It also provides guidance for how to best treat you. Some common counseling theories include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT explores the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Your counselor can help you challenge thought patterns that are not helpful to you. Through this process, you can also learn to change undesirable behaviors.
- Psychodynamic therapy: This type of therapy explores how past experiences impact your current functioning. It also helps to bring unconscious thoughts to the surface. Understanding unconscious motives can help you improve self-awareness.
- Person-centered therapy: Here, the therapist will focus on empathy and unconditional positive regard. Your counselor creates a supportive environment that is designed for you to grow.
- Solution-focused therapy: This type of therapy looks at how you can set and achieve action-based goals. Instead of exploring problems or setbacks, your counselor will encourage you to find solutions.
- Narrative therapy: With narrative therapy, clients have the opportunity to separate themselves from their issues. Essentially, you learn how to rewrite and redefine your life narrative. This, in turn, helps to change the way you feel about yourself.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR helps to relieve some of the symptoms associated with trauma. Essentially, you will learn how to think and talk about what happened to you without feeling intense distress.
Counselor Near Me: How To Find A Counselor
Depending on where you live, you may have numerous counseling options. It can feel quite challenging to choose the right person!
After identifying your needs and goals, you can start your search. Some people wish to use their health insurance. If you do, make sure to contact your insurance company for a list of providers. Determine your deductible and copayment beforehand. Some counselors accept insurance while others do not. Moreover, there are counselors who provide superbills, which are essentially invoices detailing your services.
You may want to ask your friends or family members for a referral. If you know someone who enjoyed working with their counselor, don’t hesitate to inquire! You can also search,”mental health counseling near me” or browse through an online directory.
From there, you will usually proceed to a phone or in-person consultation. Remember that finding the right counselor may require some trial-and-error. Don’t be discouraged if the first person doesn’t work out. Because, just like with any relationship, the best fit requires some chemistry.
The Benefits Of Online Mental Health Counseling
Online counseling is becoming more and more popular. It offers unique flexibility, convenience, and remote accessibility. You don’t have to worry about driving to your sessions or sitting in a waiting room. Moreover, online counselors can often accommodate busy schedules.
Online mental health counseling works in a similar way to traditional counseling. You and your counselor collaborate on appropriate treatment goals and you may work on a variety of mental health issues. However, unlike traditional counseling, most online platforms allow for correspondence between sessions. Clients can usually text or send messages whenever they want to.
Finding The Best Mental Health Counselor
Life can be hard, and we all feel stuck sometimes. It isn’t always easy to ask for help, but reaching out is a tremendous sign of strength. Go ahead! Just open your search engine and type the words: “Counseling near me” to search for counseling services near you.
Mental health counselors help their clients work through difficult issues to live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. If you’re struggling, reach out! Help is available, and you don’t need to suffer any longer.