In Choosing the right therapist: part 1 we talked about self-oriented questions; the questions you want to be asking yourself as you are looking to begin counseling. Quite often, when we are asking clients what types of questions they might have for us, we hear clients respond with, “I don’t really know what to ask. I’ve never done this before!” One thing happening here is that many clients don’t ask the self-orienting questions first, which is fine. That is the reality for some people. Things are not going the way they would like in some area of life, they feel like they need some help, but don’t really know what that looks like or what they are really wanting or needing. They just know they want to feel better. This makes sense. This is why we are encouraging you to start with self-oriented questions.
Once you’ve considered those questions, the search for the right therapist begins and many find themselves wondering what types of questions they should be asking a potential counselor. So, let’s talk about some key questions to ask a potential therapist that could help you decide if they might be a good fit.
Try on some of these approaches and questions and see how they feel to you:
What are your areas of expertise or specialization?
Tell me about you as a therapist. What is your background and where were you trained?
What age range and demographic do you work with or prefer to work with?
Here’s what’s going on for me. Do you work with this sort of issue? What is your approach to working with this? How do you envision it working for me as a client?
Here’s what I’m wanting out of the process. How might you help me to get where I’m wanting to go?
What do you hope I would experience as a client? What things do you strive for in the process?
What is your style of therapy/counseling? What is your style of relating? I think I need someone who can/would _______. Could you offer this to me?
If you feel like you get really solid answers to these types of questions, then you know that you probably are talking to an effective, experienced counselor. This does not guarantee a perfect fit, but it’s a good start. Next step is to meet with the counselor and start telling them what’s going on for you and see how they work with you. Trust your gut. You will quickly know if it feels safe and hopeful. In your first session, you should get the sense that the therapist really hears you and is there for you, understands what’s going on for you, and that they can help you to get where you are wanting to go.
If you are looking for a great therapist, we have them! And we don’t take that statement lightly. There are so many really great therapists out there. To suggest that we have the corner on the market on good counseling is ridiculous. But our clinicians are awesome; personable, knowledgeable, expert, and inviting. They truly love what they do and genuinely care for their clients. Reach out to us by calling 303-393-0085 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to support you in getting the best help available!
~ Mikey Brackett, LPC
~ Clinton J. Nunnally, LPC