Did you know that most consumers of therapy don’t take the time to learn about what they need to know about partnering with the best counselor or therapist who can help them be successful in meeting their therapeutic goals?
Firstly, YOU are the consumer so ask questions and “shop” around to find the best fit for you. It is also best to highly consider referrals from family and friends who have had experience working with a particular counselor or therapist.
Life Counseling Solutions like many counseling centers offer a complimentary phone consultation or face-to -face meeting. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to briefly explain your problem(s) and ask the counselor or therapist to share how they would approach the problem.
If possible, try to chat with at least three different counselors or therapists. Here are a few questions that you can ask in that initial conversation:
How many couples or individuals with similar issues do you work with per week?
- For example, the more couples that a couple’s therapist works with per week, the more experience she or he has working with couples. Therefore, if you are seeking counseling for your relationship, then you want a therapist who primarily works with couples.
Do you work with a couple together or in separate sessions?
- Life Counseling Solutions believes that it is imperative to see couples together. The therapist can miss the dynamic of how the couple relates when they are seen separately. While there may be a good reason to have one or two individual sessions with each person in the relationship, this should be more the exception not the norm for couple’s counseling.
Are you more direct or indirect in your approach to working with individuals or couples?
- Counselors and therapists come in all kinds of styles of relating with those that they work with in therapy. Some therapists are indirect, believing the answer is in you and can be discovered if you have a safe place and a good listener. This type of counselor will take a more passive role by letting you direct the topic and content of the session. This type of therapist may be best if the people usually find themselves not often heard by those in their life or are use to being told what to do and how to think by others.
- The person that is not usually heard can benefit from working with a more passive therapist by learning to be more of a leader of their life and take responsibility for the content of the session.
- Other therapists are more “directive” with the mindset to give guidance, teaching, and insight and at times may have an agenda for the session when you come for your appointment. Life Counseling Solutions believes the directive approach is more beneficial for most individuals or couples, but believe in flexibility if a person just needs a soft place to land.
Do you only focus on the presenting issue or do you also explore other areas of my life?
- We believe that you should have a Ph.D. in your own history along with your spouse’s childhood. This does not mean that you spend significant amounts of time discussing childhood memories. You want to explore enough to understand the major impact on their life. When you understand history, you will have more compassion for yourself and your spouse. Often your spouse’s most irritating behavior is the result of a wound in their childhood. Understanding our backgrounds helps to identify the areas that we need to develop and grow as adults.
How much experience do you have working with couples (if that is the focus or you can fill in the blank with your counseling need(s))?
- For example, in our experience, there are a lot more competent individual therapists than there are couples therapists. You want to ask questions of your therapists so you can feel confident that they can guide you to a place of healing.
We hope that whether you choose Life Counseling Solutions or that you find other healing places, that these points discussed will help you find the BEST fit in healing your life circumstances!
You can receive a complimentary phone or face to face consultation by calling us at 407-622-1770. We look forward to serving you and your family!