How do I begin to search for counseling? This is a common question. Many people struggle for far too long before calling for help. There are many reasons, but most of them are based in various fears, such as seeming weak, or family shame.
How do you begin?
First, consider whether you need counseling. If you think about it often; If you feel trapped or stuck; If you feel you have no options or hope. If any of these statements are true for you, start your search for a counselor that shares your faith, and has experience in your area of need.
Finding the right counselor
Today you have access to a large amount of information just by searching the Internet. You can search by location, type of counseling – like marriage, women or family, or use a site dedicated to helping you find the right counselor, like Theravive or New Life. It might be hard to ask those you know about a recommendation, but word of mouth is a great reference. Ask a friend or your Pastor if they know a good counselor.
Your first call
Often, making the first call takes courage. You might be emotional or frustrated with your current issue. That’s okay! Write down the questions you have, such as location, rates, or counselor credentials. Take notes! If you’re ready to schedule, move forward. If not, set a day and time to make a decision for your first appointment, so you don’t put it off too long.
Your first visit
Take the time to look up the location, and get there a few minutes early. Have any needed forms completed and ready to hand off to your counselor. Ask for some water to set yourself at ease. Remember, your counselor is there for you, and is ready to hear your story and give you the help you need.
Make the commitment to stay with one counselor for a few months, at least three to five sessions. And if your counselor has caused some discomfort, this could be just the time to stay in the process. As your needs change, you can make new decisions. The goal for you and your counselor is to reduce the need for counseling. If you’re incorporating new skills, finding revived strength and renewed hope, it could be time say thank you, and move forward!
Embrace your journey
Seeking counseling take courage. Proverbs 19:20 states, “Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well.” You took first steps, worked through difficulties, learned new skills, and offered forgiveness to yourself and others. Now you are on a new path. Congratulations!