DFW’s Trusted Leaders in Counseling, Career, and Life Coaching for over 10 Years

How to a Counselor by Charity Hagains

Thinking of starting Counseling in this New Year?  

Tips for Finding a Therapist That’s Right for You

Charity Hagains MA, LPC-S

 

If this new year has you thinking about better self care, healthier habits, or just letting go of the previous year’s struggles, you may be considering starting counseling.  With that decision made, your next hurdle is to find the “right” counselor for you. It’s this phase which can lead people to feel anxious or stuck and often prevents them from entering counseling.  It can be difficult to know where to find a therapist, how to know if they are any good at counseling, or if you are going to feel comfortable building a relationship with them. While there is no fast way to know for sure if you are going to “click” with your therapist, here are a few tips to help you find your way towards a trusting and beneficial counseling relationship.

 

  • Do your research
    • Before your first session, you will have probably looked through dozens of therapist profiles trying to determine which counselor is right for you.  Some things to look for when you are reading through counselor bios are:
      • Do they talk about how they view the counseling relationship, and do you agree with their vision?
      • Do they have the necessary schooling and license? (LPC, LPC Intern, LPC-S)
      • Does their profile speak to you in some way that gives you confidence?
  • Be open
    • Some people feel like a therapist will only be able to relate to their struggles if they are of the same background or share similar life experiences.  While I understand the desire to see a piece of yourself in your counselor, I urge you to be open to counselors who are different from you. Most people enter counseling looking for new solutions to their problems or new perspectives on how to view their situation.  My clients are smart and thoughtful people who have already ventured down many avenues of problem solving. They have tried everything they know, and are looking for new ways to get them where they want to go. For that reason, a person with a very different background may be the best fit.  They will likely see your issue from a perspective that is foreign to you. Our training as therapists allows us to open ourselves up to view the world through your eyes, while still holding on to our own ways of understanding. Someone who is in a different season of their life, or comes from a different culture or background, may be able to see the answers a counselor who is “just like you” never could.
  • Trust your gut
    • The therapeutic relationship can often feel intimidating at first.  Some see the therapist as an authority figure, or they may worry the counselor will judge them if they are honest about their darkest thoughts.  These feelings are normal when entering counseling. However, if these feelings persist and get in the way of you being able to build trust with your therapist ask yourself a few of these questions:
      • When do I feel the most uneasy about going to counseling?
      • What is my counselor doing or saying that causes me to feel a sense of fear or distrust?
      • Are these feelings coming from within me or are they being sparked by something going on in the counseling room?
      • Do I feel comfortable enough to confront these feelings and talk to my counselor about them?
      • Do I feel that my therapist cares about me?
    • The therapeutic relationship is built on trust and acceptance.  Your therapist should help you feel open and at ease during your time together.  While it can take a few sessions to build rapport, it should come quickly. If it doesn’t it is imperative you discuss this with the therapist.  They should respond with sincerity and work with you on your terms to build a comfortable and beneficial relationship. Should they become defensive, blaming or angry, or if you just can’t form that bond with them, trust your gut and move on to another counselor who may be a better fit.  While counseling is not always comfortable and the therapist has a duty to confront some of your thoughts or behaviors (which may not feel good) it shouldn’t be a harmful or threatening relationship.

 

Whether you are entering counseling for the first time, or returning after a long break, you can expect your counselor to treat you with the utmost respect and care.  Our field is full of therapists who feel empathy and compassion on the deepest levels and we desire to connect with every client who honors us with their story. At Noyau, we focus on the therapeutic relationship and believe it has the capacity to heal, but what makes our work truly gratifying is seeing the relationship grow with our clients’ progress.  We see clients change in profound and meaningful ways before our eyes and we want to spread that feeling to everyone who seeks therapy. If you would like to know more about finding a therapist that is right for you check out our youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1jPPVAredcBmw-WimnOOyQ or give our offices in Dallas or Fort Worth a call to speak to our Counselor Match Specialist.

 

Dallas (214)706-0619 Ft.Worth (628)385-9540

5445 La Sierra Dr. Suite 200 1701 River Run Suite 805

Dallas TX 75231 Ft. Worth TX 76107

 

Call Noyau Today