Reaching out for support—be it a friend, family member, religious leader, or a therapist near you – can feel vulnerable. Vulnerability and shame are the biggest reasons many of us delay seeking support until we encounter a point where the struggles we experience have already taken a significant toll on us. The impact may include strained relationships, impacts on employment and other responsibilities, depression and anxiety, addictions…
Counselling therapists have the training and experience to walk you through this process in ways that reduce the vulnerability and shame you feel about needing help.
Steps to Take When Reaching Out to a Counselling Therapist
In my previous blog I talked about doing research. Read this blog here if you missed it.
Now that you’ve done your research and are ready to take the next step, make the call or send an email. Ask for a FREE consultation to get a feel for whether this therapist is right for you.
Questions to Ask in a Counselling Therapy Consultation
- Do you offer a FREE consultation?
A free consultation before committing to therapy offers you the opportunity to get a sense about fit. During this conversation, pay attention to whether you feel like you can ‘connect’ with this therapist
- What is your session fee?
It is very helpful to know up front how much your counselling therapist charges. This will reduce any potential surprises about cost
- Are you more directive/guiding, or will we work collaboratively towards my goals?
This will help you determine whether this counselling therapist is a good match for the support you are looking for
- Do you give homework?
Whether or not the counselling therapist gives homework will give you a good sense for what type of counselling therapy this person offers. It will also give you a good sense for their beliefs about how change occurs for people
- Have you been in counselling therapy yourself?
Counselling therapists who have personal experience with getting professional help are often better at their work since they understand what it’s like to be in a position of needing professional support
- How often will we meet?
Most counselling therapists will tell you that it is difficult to predict how often you will need to meet. However, it is important to know how much control you will have over how often to meet
- How long will I be in counselling therapy?
In much the same way as the question on how often you will meet, most counselling therapists will tell you that it is difficult to predict how many sessions you will need. Think of it this way: The longer the struggle has been with you, the longer it tends to take to move beyond the struggle
- What is your philosophy (or belief) about how change occurs?
A therapist’s beliefs about how change occurs informs their approach to therapy. Knowing the therapist’s beliefs about how change occurs will help you anticipate what working with this therapist will be like, and that can help you determine whether they are a good fit for what you are looking for
Would love to hear from you even if you’re not ready to make a committment to an appointment. Feel free to call or email me today to request a FREE 15-minute phone or video consultation.