There are many reasons that people seek counseling services. Perhaps you have recently experienced a change in your life that has rocked your world; perhaps there is a past experience that continues to impact your current functioning; or you are searching for ways to address long-standing challenges with anxiety, depression, or some other emotional or mental health challenge. Maybe you’ve heard from others that you should “get some help.” Whatever the reason that first prompts someone to make that call—the decision to seek counseling services is seldom made without considerable thought and a fair amount of trepidation.
It’s understandable. After all, it’s pretty scary to think about opening up about your deepest fears or sharing secrets you haven’t shared before. And, if you’re truly ready—there’s the reality that you’ll need to face your own responsibility for making difficult changes in yourself, or in your relationships. Obviously, the professional that you choose has the ability to dramatically impact your counseling experience.
From your first contact, you should feel a sense of warmth and an appropriate concern for your problem(s). Ask if the counselor has expertise and experience in working with clients like yourself, and with similar issues. And, you should never feel rushed. The strength of the therapeutic relationship is the single best predictor of a positive outcome from counseling, and it begins with that first contact. Be discriminating. You owe it to yourself to find a professional that you trust, and one who truly cares about you.