Questions to Help Discover if a Counselor Is Right for You
- What Techniques Do You Use?
- Do You Focus on Present or Past Issues?/li>
- Have You Been in Therapy?
- What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
- How Would You Treat My Problem?
When it comes to finding a good counselor, you may feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. It's important to establish a comfortable connection so that personal information can be shared freely. However, many people don't realize that there are other aspects to consider in order to receive the best results from the process. Clients sometimes spend too much time in therapy, with nothing to show for it, simply because they have a poor match with their provider. Read on to discover some questions to ask that can help make a better match possible.
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1. What Techniques Do You Use?
There are a wide variety of psychotherapeutic techniques or strategies used by counselors. The approach used matters based on the types of results a client hopes to attain. Some therapists use active techniques in which they teach direct behavioral models and coping mechanisms. The goal of such methods is to help clients gain skills for dealing with issues as they arise. Other therapies may focus on modalities that encourage clients to make revelations about themselves and their behaviors. These insights can then be applied to future encounters.
2. Do You Focus on Present or Past Issues?
Along the lines of techniques used by a therapist is the focus one prefers to take in therapy. Some counseling modalities focus on uncovering past behavioral and emotional patterns as a way of helping clients to discover their deep-seated motivations and uncovering their present truths. This can be some of the most impactful therapeutic work and useful for various presenting problems. Other issues may be more time-sensitive and require an approach that presents immediate relief. In these cases, clients may prefer a therapist who utilizes more active techniques that aim to provide education and to help modify behavior.
3. Have You Been in Therapy?
It's a good sign to discover that a therapist has been in therapy themselves as a client. This gives them great insight and perspective into what it's like on the other side. It can also help the therapist to work through their own issues, which makes it more likely that they won't inflict any of their own emotional traumas on clients. In addition, being a client lets the therapist see what other professionals in their field are doing and can be a tremendous learning experience.
4. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
This question can provide the client with insight into what matters to a therapist and as to a therapist's ability to be transparent. A good counselor should be able to identify where they excel in their skills and in what ways they could improve. Finding a good counselor depends a lot on connecting with a therapist who is honest and insightful.
5. How Would You Treat My Problem?
Finally, it's smart to explicitly ask a prospective counselor how they would treat a specific problem. Doing so can give a client reassurance that the therapist feels confident and knows what they're doing. It also lets them know whether they feel comfortable with that therapist's approach.
All of these questions can be helpful in finding a good counselor. The more clients can learn ahead of time, the better their chances of obtaining the types of results they desire from therapy.
Source: The Huffington Post