We’ve had all stressful times in our lives where we may have really needed someone to talk to who could help us figure out how to deal with the situations in our lives.
Counselors are great for being able to help individuals and families learn how to overcome problems because they have gone to school to learn about relationships, people, and how to help…it’s different than talking to a friend since the entire conversation is all about helping you find solutions and become a better person.
But if you’ve never been to a counselor, it can seem really overwhelming trying to find out how to find one so here are a few suggestions as to how you can find a counselor for you, your relationship, and/or your family
Finding A Counselor:
1. Ask your friends your friends may have some great suggestions, so ask them if they know of any great counselors. You may not feel comfortable telling them you’re going to a counselor, and that’s fine. But if you’re not worried about that or if your friend has told you about a counselor she’s used-ask them if they would recommend the counselor
2. Search Online You can always do a search for counselors in your city by using Google
3. Check local churches Often churches have counseling centers that are free or very affordable or they may have a list of available Christian counselors that you could check out
4. Check colleges/universities If you’re a student in any school (elementary, middle, high school, or higher education) then there should be a free counseling center available. However, if you’re not a student-still check out the local universities/colleges. A lot of graduate counseling programs need individuals who wouldn’t mind seeing a graduate student who is studying to become a counselor (someone like me!). These students are not yet licensed but they are at the end of their graduate school program and are eager to help!
5. Hotlines If seeing a counselor face-to-face just isn’t possible right now or you really just don’t feel comfortable with that, hotlines are always great options. Now the individual may not be an actual counselor, they are usually just trained volunteers but it doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful. If you’d like a list of hotlines, check out this blog...
6. United Way United way is a site that is geared towards providing resources to communities. Whenever you need help for anything (food, shelter, help with rent, etc.) you can visit the official site and they will connect you with local programs that can help you.
Choosing A Counselor
Now choosing a counselor can be stressful too but the number one rule to this is BE PATIENT!
1. Choose someone who believes similarly If you’re a Christian and your faith is really important to you, find a counselor who is also Christian. They don’t have to be the same religion but having that basic foundation of believing in Christ and that God has the power to heal and help you will REALLY help you overcome your problems and it stops your faith from being a barrier that your counselor doesn’t understand which could frustrate you
2. GO! Sometimes people will research & research & research but they won’t just go. You won’t know if you like the counselor until you actually GO! So go and see the counselor and see if you like them!
3. Be patient If you see a counselor and you don’t like them, their counseling style or ideals then that’s ok. Just keep looking…you WILL find someone perfect for you (and your family)
4. Everyone is different Counselors are ALL different. There are TONS of different personalities and TONS of different theories that counselors use. Every counselor uses different techniques and approaches so just because you didn’t like one counselor doesn’t mean you won’t like the next. For example, some people like my style of counseling but others may not enjoy my personality…and that’s fine. So accept that everyone is different…and keep searching
5. Pray God cares about who you desire to let into your life…so don’t be afraid to just pray about who should be your counselor-He will definitely open the doors for you and show you the right counselor for you.
I hope these tips help you find what you need…got a question? Ask me in the comments below!
With God’s Love, Grace, and Comfort…
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