Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling
Opening up to a complete stranger irrespective of the number of degrees they have or how much experience they have is not easy. A friend may have had a great experience, but that doesn’t mean you will feel the same amount of comfort. When it comes to mental health and seeking support, people may have valid questions but aren’t sure where to find answers.
To ensure you have all the information you need to help you get the best treatment, Counselors of Texas has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about counseling.
- Do I need to see a counselor?
If you’re reading this blog, then your situation may feel bigger than what you can deal with alone. It might be a good time to make an appointment. Try a session and ask yourself this question again after.
- How do I select the right counselor for me?
The answer to this question will change depending on the person asking. Many people want a counselor that is “nearby” and “in-network,” but that doesn't equate to a good counselor for your situation. You want to feel safe sharing the personal details of your life, and that is a good thing to seek out. Ask your friends, family, the staff at your doctor’s office, a spiritual organization, or a religious organization for a referral.
A good therapist will meet your needs, and we all have different needs. If you have a specific issue, then you may want to look for a counselor that has education, training, and experience in the problem you are seeking help to address. You may feel more comfortable with a therapist that is of a certain age, gender, race, cultural background, ethnic background, speaks a specific language or uses a particular type of therapy. Most importantly, after the first session, ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the counselor. No matter what degree is on the wall or how great an experience your friend had, you get to decide if you are going to share your life story with a particular counselor.
- What if I have family and friends that I talk to often?
You, your family, and your friends haven't done anything wrong if you need help. Talking to a counselor is different from talking to family and friends. There are times in our lives when we need extra support, and the most loving thing we can do is to take care of ourselves.
- How many times do I need to see a counselor before I feel better?
There is not a simple answer to this question. But, you can ask your counselor at your first visit.
- What is the difference between all the types of therapy?
I remember taking a graduate course on counseling theories. So, because this is a blog and not a college class, I will tell you about the two I use with most of my clients. Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) focuses on solutions more than problems, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) looks at the relationship between your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. I start by listening to you and pulling out the solutions you may want. Then, I explore how your thoughts, actions, and feelings can be adjusted to help you achieve your desired solutions.
- What does it mean to specialize?
It means a counselor has education, training, and experience in working with a specific type of problems. I specialize in working with veterans, service members and their families. I understand military lingo because I have lived on an army base. Also, I studied the unique needs of military families in school, I regularly attend training on how to better serve the population, and I have counseled soldiers at Fort Hood and Camp Mabry. As a specialist, I have a general understanding of your living situation before you give me the specifics of your case.
- What will the first session be like?
First, your counselor will talk to you about the intake paperwork you filled out. Your counselor will want you to understand what they can offer you and their limitations fully. They will ask you questions that will help them prepare for the next time you meet. You might feel uncomfortable at first because they will know details about you but you will not know details about them. They don't expect you to tell them everything about your life the first time you meet. It will take time for you to open up and your counselor will move at your pace no matter how fast or slow.
At Counselors of Texas, we are a large group of mental health professionals with various specialties and backgrounds. Over the past 20 years, we have impacted the lives of thousands of people. We provide individual psychotherapy, marriage and family counseling, psychological testing and evaluations, group therapy, Christian counseling, educational assessments, chemical dependency counseling, vocational counseling and play therapy. We service Central Texas and have offices in Killeen and Round Rock, and will be opening a new office in Austin in the next 6 months. Our therapists have experience in a wide variety of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, stress, anger, divorce, family conflict, problems with children, abuse and addictions. To view our different specialties, please click here. To know how we can help you, please contact us by clicking here.
Article Courtesy: Sandra Bravo