It can be daunting to decide that you’d like to go to counselling, and then how do you find a counsellor? Let me help you…
The first counsellor I saw was a lovely older gentleman. I remember he had a daybed for me to sprawl on, and lorikeets in the front yard. His therapy practice was at his home, and I had to drive about an hour to get there.
I only went once, but I really enjoyed my time with him. He recommended a brilliant book, that I still have dog-eared somewhere.
Driving for an hour, however, just wasn’t practical.
The second counsellor I saw wore too many essential oils that made me sneeze. She had a passion for family systems and kept asking me about family dynamics from long ago. She wore the same long skirt to every session, and I was very distracted wondering why…
I found it frustrating to talk about family history when I wanted to focus on my future, her style just wasn’t the right fit for me.
I then found a counsellor that I adored. She laughed with me, and cried when I cried. Her hair was always messy and she was a student at a private college for therapists. She supported me through some miserable days and was exactly what I needed at that time.
Like the third bowl of porridge that Goldilocks had, she was just right.
To find your perfect counsellor, it’s best to do some investigative work before you book the session, so that you’re more likely to commit to the process and save yourself money and disappointment.
When I was in training we were able to watch hundreds of counsellors and see how they work. I was amazed at the processes of some, and when trying to find a therapist, please remember that we’re all very different.
Some counsellors will refuse to start the conversation, believing that saying hello will interrupt your time. They’ll patiently sit until you say the first word.
Some therapists will use the first session to write down your entire family tree and learn about your family and childhood homes and schools before you can discuss why you have decided to go to counselling.
Some counsellors will cry when you cry, and others won’t laugh at your jokes.
The question then becomes, what counsellor do you want?
If you are comfortable asking friends or family for recommendations, this is a great way to find a counsellor for you.
You can also hit up Google and spend some time on their websites.
You can view the counsellors photos, read their blogs and journal articles, review their prices, the days and times they work and understand about the type of counsellor they are. Best of all, you can usually book in a consult call.
This is a free call that’s usually about 20 minutes, where you can chat with the counsellor. This is to ask all your questions, to see how you feel talking to them, and working out if you’re going to be a nice fit together.
I have sometimes looked at a counsellors website and not felt 100%, and I can’t put my finger on why. That’s OK. If this happens to you, it’s your intuition telling you it’s not the right person for you. Just keep on scrolling, and clicking until you see a smiling face that you like.
Ideally to find a counsellor,
- You need to research for someone who you’re going to feel comfortable talking with
- They need to be within your budget
- They need to follow a style of therapy that you are going to enjoy. Eg: I wasn’t into the family systems therapy when I booked the wonderful long skirt lady.
- They should be close to you, or online
- They should want to talk with you before you book with them
- Again, you need to feel comfortable.
Remember to trust your instinct, and listen to yourself. With a little bit of time, you will find a counsellor that’s perfect for you.
If you would like to have a free consult with me, just book straight into my calendar.