16 Ways to Make the Most of Counseling — From Counselors Themselves

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16 Ways to Make the Most of Counseling – From Counselors Themselves

By Sarah Schuster

If going to counseling Napa is something you’re thinking about or a pursuit you’ve just begun, it can be a daunting process if you don’t know what to expect. So we teamed up with the experts – members of the American Counseling Association – to get you the inside scoop on what to expect from counseling and some advice for people who’ve just begun. Hopefully, this will make you feel more comfortable. Most counselors will be expecting you to be nervous for a couple of sessions. They usually have their masters in counseling psychology, so they have been properly educated and trained to deal with all different scenarios. They will know how to make you feel comfortable and safe.

Be proud of yourself for taking that first step. Now here’s some advice for making the most of it:

1.Open up at your own pace. If you don’t feel like ‘telling it all’ in the first few sessions, that’s OK. Your counselor really wants to get to know you, not just the issue that brought you to counseling.” – Kim Slater, M.S. Ed., L.C.P.C.S

2. “It’s completely normal to feel somewhat on edge about what you’re doing, especially when you’re not quite sure what to expect. To ease this feeling of uncertainty, prior to meeting with your counselor, write down all of the questions you have about the counseling process, the specific counselor you are meeting with and about payment, outside session communications, cancellation policies, etc. And if at any time you get the sense you’re not clicking with your counselor, that’s OK! Trust the counseling process and don’t give up.” – Tara Finau, LPC

3.Manage expectations. What do you, as a client, seek to achieve? Communicate that to the counselor and then discuss how that goal might be achieved long-term.” – John P. Duggan, M.A., NCC, LPC, LCPC

4. “Be honest! There are so many people you can lie to for free, why would you pay to lie to a therapist? If you feel that your therapist is judging you, or is uncomfortable with the topic, you need to find another therapist.” – Elaine Wilco, LPC

5. “Begin to develop a rapport with your counselor. Start by getting to know them and asking questions. A good relationship with your counselor will help maximize your experience and overall success.Danielle A. Irving, M.A.

6. “As you begin counseling, prepare for the possibility of feeling some emotional discomfort as you learn to approach problems in ways that might be unfamiliar for you. Just as you might experience physical discomfort when beginning a new exercise program, you might feel a little uneasy as you begin working through sensitive issues using new mental techniques and strategies. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have thoughts, ideas, suggestions or concerns!” – Erin T. Shifflett, MLA, M.Ed.

7. “Therapy is a journey of self-discovery and self-understanding. Allow yourself to be in ‘the here and now,’ and be open to really experiencing and exploring your thoughts and feelings. Be clear and honest in the counseling session. Allow yourself to be truly vulnerable and open to this journey of self-discovery – that’s how you’ll get the best results.” – Alexia Pilleris, M.S.

8. “Remember, you are in a safe and comforting environment. This is your time and your time only so make the most of it. Your counselor is on your side.” – Tanairy Fernandez, MS.Ed, LMHC, NCC

9. “Try your best to be honest about present and past events and thoughts. At times, clients approach initial sessions gingerly. They often minimize quantity, frequency or extent of feelings, behaviors or events. Being open and honest creates a healthy environment and helps establish trust.” – Dr. John D. Massella; LPC, NCC, CCS, CCDP

10. “Counseling is a collaborative process, but you are the expert on yourself. If you would like something to be different about your sessions (for example, different amount of focus on one issue compared to another), please ask.” – Lauren C. Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC

11. “Counseling is most helpful when we can share as openly, honestly and directly as much of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors as possible. Only then can we identify areas of challenge and success.” – Melissa Luke, Associate Professor, Coordinator of School Counseling, Syracuse University.

12. “Counseling is a process. I don’t have a magic wand or a magic pill, but I will walk with you on the journey of discovering who you are and where you want life to go. You have already taken the first step. Above all, please remember you are human and that is enough. You are enough.” – Lisa Taylor-Austin, NCC, LPC, LMHC, CFMHE, LLC

13. “Remember it’s unlikely your problems developed overnight, so don’t expect them to go away in that amount of time, either. Be realistic about the timeframe it takes to root out the causes of psychological distress. Give counseling at least 90 days (once-a-week appointments). By then you should know if what you’re doing is helping.” – Ryan Thomas Neace, MA, LPC, NCC, CCMHC

14. “Your counselor may assign ‘homework’ for you to do between sessions. Homework could include things like journaling, mood tracking, breathing exercises or other tasks. While this might be new for you, it can be a really important part of your treatment. But if you don’t do your homework or if you have trouble with it, be up front with your counselor. He or she can make adjustments.” – Gina Della Penna

15. “It’s important to understand you will get more results from counseling if you actively participate in the process. Remember, counseling is your journey to hope, healing and feeling better about yourself and life. Enjoy your journey!” – Dr. LaWanda N. Evans, Licensed Professional Counselor

16. “This is unlike any other relationship you probably have. In friendships it’s socially appropriate to give and take – you talk, then I talk, you share, then I share, and so on. Counseling is different because the focus will be on you. Sometimes you may struggle with what to talk about. This is OK. No one wants to experience pain, but through pain, there is growth. If you are truly doing the work, expect to leave some sessions feeling drained, overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. This means you are on your way to healing. It’s something to be celebrated.” – Tracy S. Hutchinson, Ph.D., LMHC

If you would like to talk with a counselor, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

Dating Your Spouse Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

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Dating Your Spouse Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

By Drs Les and Leslie Parrott

Many married couples–ourselves included–recommend regular date nights as a way to keep your marriage healthy and strong. Taking intentional time to connect with one another away from kids and other distractions is essential, but we often over-complicate it. Time is often the commodity that we have the most difficulty finding. Once that time is set aside, it’s important to plan how you will spend it.

If you already sense yourself buckling under the pressure of creating the perfect date, remember this: dating your spouse doesn’t have to be hard! Here are 7 tips to take the pressure off of your date nights and give you the freedom to just enjoy one another.


We make time for what is important in life, and if your marriage isn’t healthy, the rest of your world can easily crumble around you. If you don’t carve out time for each other in advance, dates either won’t happen, or they’ll be fewer and farther between. One date every three months isn’t going to cut it.

A natural drifting apart occurs in any relationship whose members don’t connect regularly. With friends, we can allow this to occur for a season, and effortlessly pick up right where we left off. With our marriages, we simply cannot let it happen.

Find a system that works for you and your spouse. You could schedule your dates a month ahead of time, or agree to set aside some time to be together each week. Whatever you decide, make this time a priority–whatever it takes.


It can be hard to think of activities or destination ideas under pressure, so relax and put your heads together. Take some time to think of fun and easy date ideas, writing them down as you come up with them. When you’re drained of creative suggestions, lean on your list! This will take the pressure off both of you, and can be especially handy if you’re in a very busy season, like the child-rearing years.


Not every date has to be an original idea. If you and your spouse have hobbies that you like to do together, or restaurants or traditions that you enjoy, stick to those. Forming traditions can also spark a sense of anticipation around doing something you both truly enjoy. So, if you both love pizza, why not grab the best pizza Greensboro has to offer (or the best pizza in your area) and make it into a tradition. Planning dates is not a competition. It is honoring your marriage by setting aside some sacred time to spend together. If that happens to be at the same restaurant each week, or over the same meal or activity at home, then let it be!


When you’re the only one doing all of the planning for date nights, you can quickly become burdened. Taking turns planning with your spouse can alleviate this burden and keep things interesting. You will also have the chance to put some extra thought into what your spouse may like, and vice versa.


This might sound contrived, but it actually works. Conversation may flow easily between you most of the time, but there will be times when it isn’t so easy. It can be difficult to shut off a day’s worth of work and stress when it’s date time. Instead of intentional talk, you can end up filling your time with awkward silence, complaining, or small talk.

A great way to combat this is to bring some talking points or starter questions along to your date night. One simple question could lead to an entire conversation. Or perhaps you have been saving something that you would like to talk or dream about with your spouse during your time alone. Either way, coming prepared with something to talk about can be a way to take the pressure off of your date time.


Some dates should just be spent doing something fun–with no other agenda. Your spouse is your best friend, and that should leave room for you two to just let loose and have some fun! Different dates can serve different purposes. Sometimes, the best medicine is laughter…and not taking yourself too seriously.


It’s not always practical or cost-effective to get out of the house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create space for the two of you there. Pick out a dinner or activity, order take-out or make dinner, and do date night in. Just remember not to blur those lines too much at home.

You may be more tempted to give into distractions, but honor your time there as you would at any other place. A date night at home is often relaxing, and a time to reconnect with your spouse–and you don’t even have to leave the house!

If you tend to get overwhelmed at the thought of planning and keeping regular dates with your spouse, keep these tips in mind! Dating your spouse doesn’t have to be hard; it just requires commitment and follow-through. Protect the time you’ve set aside to be together, and your marriage will thrive!

If you would like help with your marriage and/or relationship, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

MHAFC Pro Bono Counselor of the Year

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Seth EvansMeet Seth Evans, awarded the Mental Health America, Franklin County ProBono Counseling Volunteer of the Year!!

Seth Evans has been with Cornerstone Family Services from our inception.  He is licensed by the State of Ohio as a Clinical Counselor. Seth has many areas of professional interest and specialization, including his work with marriages, men’s issues, relationships, sexual integrity/addiction, spiritual struggles, and anxiety/depression.  We are all very proud of Seth.


When Someone is Going Through a Storm

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If you are going through a storm and would like to spend time with someone who will listen with empathetic ears, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to connect with a counselor or coach.

An Honest Look at the Past Couple Years

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depression couch

An Honest Look at the Past Couple Years

By Sighsharmonize (post adapted from the original)

The first week of being 25 was great with a few minor hiccups. It’s been weird. Things have gone wrong but it leads to me being thankful for other things. Maybe I’m just an optimist but I don’t regret anything, even things that caused the bad events.

Example: On Saturday night, my car was towed. It was 100% my fault because I didn’t check the time that the lot was going to close but Saturday was so fun! It was awesome hanging out with people and such a wonderful day overall that nothing was going to drag me down. When I found out and didn’t have a car, no one so much as hesitated to help me out. Everyone I am surrounded by is always willing to be there for me in every capacity.

I feel as though it’s unfair for me to be anything but happy. With people who are always there for me, it doesn’t matter what happens. I am surrounded by great people. The Lord has provided such an amazing support system for me.

Looking at this post, it’s so strange to type this. I’m really happy that I’m able to type this but these past two years have been rough. Back at that point of my life, It was almost like I was too tired to have this attitude. I was tired, unmotivated, and pretty consistently down in the dumps. I’m so happy I can be back to my old temperament; my carefree, sing in the car, laughing at nearly anything, constantly smiling, finding the silver lining attitude.

Although looking back, I can’t believe it took so much to get me to see a therapist. Even after I lost my a little bit of my uppity attitude, I had to sink so low to the point where I didn’t even have motivation to hang out with my friends (and I’m 90% extroverted) or work on anything that would lead to future goals. I don’t even know if I had goals at that point. I felt like everything was hopeless and at one point, I was so sure I would rather be in a coma than have to deal with life. It started becoming so bad that I would literally pray to get into a car crash (I didn’t explicitly try to though, I was too scared for that). At one point, I was I was skipping so many meals a day that sometimes I would go to bed light headed and wondering if I would even wake up in the morning. Other days, I would just drink until I didn’t feel guilty about my actions or laziness.

I don’t think people knew how bad it was because whenever people would ask about how I was doing, there was the automatic response of “fine”. I was perfectly okay with putting on a front when I was with people for a long time. But at one point it was just too tiring. It made me dread going out with people and I would actually choose laying on the floor rather than being with friends. Now I finally have found a counselor and something to help my depression and anxiety but why did it take me so long? I was scared because I couldn’t find the positives anymore. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

I don’t think I should’ve tried to hide it for so long. I know I can confide in my friends, there’s something about weakness though. It’s scary to show people your weakness and I guess that’s why I’m finally typing this out. A lot of times, people try to come off as if they have the perfect life but no one’s life is perfect. You can be optimistic but you shouldn’t live in denial. People should be honest and feel like they can turn to one another with their problems, especially their family (church included). That’s one thing that stressed me out, no one went through things like this. I couldn’t tell people how I felt because who would understand? But I’m starting to see that I have so many friends who I know will stand behind me. Everyone has weaknesses. It’s just about using your surrounding to overcome them and for me that was feeling comfortable to talk to my friends about things weighing me down.

Wowzers this is scary to post. It’s so scary to even think about being at that low of a point.  I’m just so thankful that the Lord kept me, was faithful, and that I’m back to me.

Well, here it is, a real look into my weakest point.

If you or someone you know is struggling like the author of this article, we encourage you to take the same courageous step to seek out the help of a professional counselor to help walk with you as you take an honest look at life and to rediscover hope and joy. Please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment.

15 Things Therapists Actually Want You to Know

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cornerstone family services christian counseling sign15 Things Therapists Actually Want You To Know

Don’t worry, they won’t Google you or say hi to you at the bar

By Casey Gueren

Therapy can be mysterious and intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to expect. So BuzzFeed Health spoke with three psychologists who all have extensive experience with psychotherapy: Stephanie Smith, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in Colorado; Ryan Howes, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and professor at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology; and Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., associate executive director of Practice Research and Policy at the American Psychological Association. Here’s what they wish people knew about therapy:

It’s not really a therapist’s job to give you advice.

They’re not here to tell you if you should call off your marriage or quit your job. “The real job of therapy is to get to know yourself better and change the way you’re thinking, the way you’re behaving, or the way you’re understanding the world,” says Smith. “The process of therapy is not to give good give advice.” There are so many different types of therapy and for all different ages, therapy can be complicated for different ages as individuals go through all different developmental stages, a child will need different counselling to college counseling. Therapists will have different techniques for adults too.

Sure, they might tell you about strategies to cope with a mental illness like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, but when it comes to your personal life decisions, they’re more of a facilitator. “Do you really want to come to therapy to give your power away to someone else or do you want to learn to have that power on your own?” says Howes.

2. They probably see a therapist, too.

“I would never trust a therapist who hadn’t been to therapy,” says Howes. And according to these experts, most psychologists do see their own therapists — maybe not all the time, but at least at some point in their careers. Most graduate psychology programs even require that candidates participate in therapy, says Smith.

3. Most therapists don’t prescribe medication.

That’s typically the job of a psychiatrist or a primary care provider — not a psychologist or social worker, says Bufka. However, your therapist can coordinate with another provider to help you start or end a medication, if that’s something you’re interested in.

4. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental illness to go to therapy.

One common misconception: “That you have to be ‘crazy’ to go to therapy,” says Howes. “There are a lot of reasons why people go to therapy that have nothing to do with disorders. And when people do go because they have a disorder, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re going to get help and speak to an expert just like you would seeking help for any other medical condition.”

It’s usually this in between area — when you’re struggling but not completely debilitated — that people hesitate to go to therapy because they feel like they don’t need it. “But if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed or not able to function as you’d like to, that’s a sign you do need to talk to somebody,” says Bufka.

5. Your therapist isn’t talking about you with their friends at the bar.

“Rule number one is confidentiality,” says Howes. “I would quickly lose my license if I talked about my clients with my friends or family.” However, they may discuss certain cases or broader themes with a small group of trusted colleagues. “We have groups that meet every other week or monthly to discuss difficult cases and get feedback from peers,” says Smith. “We talk about cases, but it’s a stripped-down version with no identifying information.”

6. And they probably aren’t Googling you.

“My understanding is that it is an overstepping of bounds and almost a breach of confidentiality in some ways to Google a client without their permission,” says Smith.

Plus, they’d rather talk about things as you bring them up, not force you to explain That Picture they saw on Facebook over the weekend. “I don’t Google my clients because I’m of the philosophy that I want everything to happen in the room,” says Howes.

7. Your therapist probably won’t acknowledge you in public unless you do first.

Don’t worry about running into them at a restaurant and hearing “Hey, glad to see you out and about!” while you’re on a date. The general consensus is that therapists won’t acknowledge you in public unless the client initiates it, and even then, they won’t acknowledge that they are your therapist unless you do first, says Bufka.

So feel free to say hi and introduce them as your therapist/yoga teacher/neighbor, or ignore them entirely. It’s your call, and it’s something you can talk to them about ahead of time if you’re worried about it.

8. Just going to therapy won’t necessarily help — you have to participate.

Therapy isn’t like going to your primary care doctor for a sinus infection and leaving with antibiotics. It takes collaboration — not just passively sitting back and waiting for results. “It’s pretty disappointing for clients when they think that’s the way it works,” says Howes. “They want the therapist to ask them a bunch of questions and it’s like a treasure hunt.”

But if a client is prepared and willing to talk about what brought them in and what they’d like to work on, it can make the whole process more collaborative and efficient. You need to be honest with your psychologist, honesty will get you the help that you need and you’ll be able to see the benefits of your therapy as you are tackling the issues that you need to tackle.

9. Therapy doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment.

“Sometimes I think people hesitate to embark on therapy because they feel like ‘If I go once I’m going to be sucked in for 10 years, three times a week,’ and it feels like this huge decision,” says Smith. But the length and frequency of therapy is very individual. It can be a one-time deal, a few months of sessions, or longer depending on what you’re going through and what you’re looking to accomplish.

It’s perfectly reasonable to ask questions about a therapist’s approach in the first session or two, says Bufka. Things like: What would treatment look like? How long are we going to be working together? How will I know when we’re finished?

10. The right “fit” is the most important factor when it comes to finding a therapist.

“You could be seeing the best, most qualified therapist in the whole world, but if the fit isn’t good, its not going to be as effective,” says Smith. “What research tells us is that of all the different variables in therapy — types of treatment, education of the provider, length of treatment, all that stuff — one of the biggest factors in therapy success is fit.”

What does that look like? Feeling heard, understood, and respected. “The experience of therapy itself isn’t always going to be fun or enjoyable,” says Bufka. “But in the context of that, you should feel safe, accepted, and heard, and at times challenged.”

11. And stopping therapy doesn’t mean you can never go back.

“As a therapist, what I’m hoping is that by the end they feel like they’ve improved their functioning, whether in their relationships or their job or as a student,” says Bufka. “That they’re feeling like they’re contributing to whatever is of value of them and not distressed by the symptoms they were experiencing.”

Of course, life happens and things change, and just because you felt better for years doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily need help again in the future. “It doesn’t mean that you’ll never need a booster session, just like you see a primary care provider,” says Bufka.

12. If you’re worried that something might be inappropriate — like hugging them or asking about their personal life — just talk about it.

Not every therapist will be open to hugging their clients, but if you really feel compelled to, don’t be embarrassed to bring it up. “The client should feel free to say anything or ask anything,” says Howes. “Ask it if it’s on your mind and then let the therapist decide whether or not they’re going to answer that. Try not to filter yourself or censor yourself.”

13. They don’t have all the answers.

“Sometimes people think therapists have a special ability to see inside you but we really don’t,” says Bufka. “We have a particular training and understanding of how humans are, how humans behave, how emotions work, and we’re able to use that to understand the specific situation someone is in. We don’t have these magical skills that we’re instantly going to read into you — it’s a process.”

14. Being a therapist can be hard work.

Between juggling several clients every day and helping patients through particularly traumatic events, it can be an incredibly daunting profession. “Obviously it can be hard to hear difficult stories hour after hour, day after day and then still have enough energy for your own family at night,” says Smith. “That can be a challenge, but it’s certainly manageable.”

“We’re professional secret keepers,” says Howes. “That takes a toll after a while. It’s really important for us to have our own confidants and our own people we can talk to about things.”

15. But chances are, they also find what they do incredibly rewarding.

“When therapy works, and it does, you’re going to walk out of there with a new understanding and new ways of doing things. You own it. It’s yours. It goes with you for the rest of your life,” says Bufka.

“I just love people,” says Smith. “I love to get to know people, and it’s really as simple as that. I find people endlessly interesting.”

“Whenever I’m able to see someone’s growth process taking place, I’m delighted,” says Howes. “And I spend much more time laughing than I ever thought I would.”


If you would like to talk with a counselor or coach, please call CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

Really, a Therapist? Why and When You Should See One…

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Really, a Therapist? Why and When You Should See One…

By Bill Lokey

I don’t know what you think about therapists or have thought about people who go see them but it may be that for some reason you are considering finding one for yourself now. If so, here are some considerations for helping you choose a therapist. I hope this will be helpful.

First of all you may be asking: Why do I need a therapist? “I’m not that crazy about people telling me what to do in the first place and now I am going to pay someone to do that?”

plant in handsMy analogy, as a guy, is like asking whether I need a lawn edger or a tiller; do I just want my lawn to look neater or do I want to plant a garden? A therapist is not usually going to be giving you advice but helping you uncover your heart so that you can discover your own. I have found that being truly filled comes not from simply eating but from discovering what you are really hungry for, what your heart desires, and then being satiated with that. Rewriting my story takes looking into the ways I have chosen to “survive” my pain so I can walk with more trust in the God who doesn’t just make all new things, but makes all things new. A good therapist helps us do just that. What I like best is the approach we use at Onsite, which is to participate in a 4–6 day therapy intensive to help a person discover their core wound and experience healing. Then follow up with a therapist to keep making regular progress.

One of the best ways to find a good therapist is to ask someone you trust if they have had a good experience with one (i.e. friend, family doctor, minister). If not, then consider these things in your search:

  1. Be willing to interview a therapist before you decide on him/her. Tell them that your first meeting is to help you determine if they are a good fit with you.
  2. Can you feel safe with this person? Is he/she judgmental & shaming or will he/she allow you the freedom to explore your feelings and thoughts.
  3. Will she/he give you honest feedback about how they see you? If they will do this in a non-shaming, caring way it can be very helpful.
  4. A licensed therapist with at least several years of experience is important.
  5. Does he/she see many other clients with similar concerns? You want to see a therapist who has successful experience working with similar issues as yours.
  6. You don’t want to choose someone with whom you already have a personal relationship. It’s generally unethical for the therapist and it usually ends badly.
  7. Have they done their own therapy work? I believe a therapist can only guide someone as far as they have gone themselves. Ask them; really it’s okay to do so.
  8. Does he/she share your spiritual beliefs and values or will your beliefs be honored if they are not the same?
  9. Be ready and be willing to struggle with your process. Stepping into your own story honestly can involve pain but it leads toward freedom.

There is a wonderful saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” If you find yourself wanting to grow and to “see” with new eyes, a good therapist can serve as a productive guide. I wish you well in your journey.

CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Monika Zoretic, CT

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Monika Zoretic is a counselor trainee at CornerStone Family Services.  She is in her final year of graduate studies to become a professional counselor at Liberty University.  She holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, with a minor in finance, from The Ohio State University.  She grew up in Grandview and has lived in many states, as she is married to a retired Marine.  Monika understands the difficulties of moving and life transitions, military life, and adoption.

As a counselor trainee, Monika will focus on Adoption (preplanning, family adjustment, and adoptee issues), Anxiety, Career, Depression, Eating Disorders, Family Therapy, Marriage, Mental/Emotional Disorders, Military Families and Veterans, and Pre-marital Preparation.

What Should I Look for in a Counselor?

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What should I look for in a counselor?  

lookingHow do I find a good fit?

For some people, the very thought of seeking out the professional help of a professional counselor is scary and intimidating.  Sometimes their social, family, or (sadly at times) faith community has implicitly or explicitly frowned upon mental health help, so there is a stigma to get over or through from their environment.

Other times, it is a matter of pride (seeing a counselor is a sign of weakness or that you are ‘broken’) or self-abasement (being too bad off to be helped) that the person has to overcome.  As for others, it could be horror stories of professional helpers imposing their personal values (e.g. “believing in God is your problem,” “Why not just get a divorce?” etc.) that become a barrier to seeking care.

Realizing the hurdles that some people face to even consider picking up the phone to seek out a professional counselor, having an idea of what to look for and find a good fit, is a helpful way of removing another potential hurdle.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Research different types of mental health professionals: counselors, coaches, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists to determine what may be best for your situation.  Consider asking your primary care physician for help.
  • Know what you are looking for: gender, experience, specialty, expertise, age ranges with whom they work, and location(s).
  • Decide how you will pay: Insurance or not?  What is the fee?  How do they bill? Do they accept credit card payments?  Are scholarships available?
  • Your counselor should be available and able to see you on a regular basis once you begin  counseling.
  • Referrals are a great help in obtaining a good therapist.  Ask your friends, pastor, coworkers, doctor, etc.
  • If you have several referrals, call each of them.  Talk to them and find out a little about each one.  Your initial conversation over the phone may not be too extensive, but it should give you an opportunity to see if it could be a good fit and ask them specific questions that you may have about therapy, the therapist, the counseling process, fees, etc.

Statistically, the majority of people in the United States believe in God and/or consider themselves to be spiritual.  Some hold more firmly to the values and beliefs of their faith’s worldview than others.

For Christians who consider biblical faith to be important, here are some additional things to look for and ask about when seeking a out a therapist:

  • If your pastor supports professional health care, ask if they have any referral ideas.
  • Google “Christian counselor” and research the agencies that you discover online.
  • Ask what the counselor believes about marriage and divorce?
  • Does the therapist attend church regularly (you do not need to inquire as to which church)?
  • Are they open to the idea of the use of Scripture as a potential element in the therapeutic process?

For more information, please contact CornerStone at 614.459.3003.