COUNSELOR’S CORNER: Questions to Consider When Choosing a Counselor

Elysia Tucker, LPC, ADC
is the Executive Director of
Southern Wellness Services, Inc.

People seek counseling for a number of different reasons. According to the American Counseling Association “Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals.” Finding the right counselor can ensure that your experience is a positive and empowering one. For some, it can be life-changing.
Here are some questions to consider when choosing a counselor:
1. What experience do they have?
When choosing a therapist, it is important to find someone who has experience working with the issue you are facing. Whether it is grief, drug use, divorce, anxiety, or something else, be sure to ask the counselor if they have worked with clients on this issue before. Counselors are more than happy to tell you what their focus or niche is.
2. What is his/her counseling philosophy?
Believe it or not, each therapist has a counseling philosophy; a certain way of approaching counseling topics and beliefs about the role of counseling in people’s lives. Some counselors use cognitive behavioral approaches, some focus on the role of spirituality or religion, some use play therapy. This information is usually found on the therapist’s website, brochure, or intake paperwork. Finding someone whose counseling philosophy matches your therapeutic goals will help ensure a solid foundation for the counseling relationships.
3. Are his/her office location and hours convenient for me?
This seems like common sense, but this is an often-overlooked detail for people scheduling new counseling appointments. Committing to counseling can be a challenge, especially if there tend to be scheduling issues involved. Be sure to ask the counselor about things like early morning, evening, or weekend visits; transportation options; and payment options before you attend the first session. This can save you time and narrow your focus so that you end up with the right fit for your needs.
If you are in need of counseling services, feel free to call our office at 256-284-7080. We accept most major insurances and have self-pay plans available.

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