Finding a Counselor for the First Time

Outside of an occasional visit to our school’s guidance counselor, most of us don’t grow up seeing a therapist. When the time comes to find one, many aren’t sure where to even begin.

Just recognizing that you need professional help is difficult enough. Finding a therapist shouldn’t have to be that hard. After all, there’s plenty of them out there to choose from. The trick is knowing which ones are right for you.

Certification is important

If you’re going through the process of seeking professional help, it’s critical that your counselor is a, well, professional. That means they’ve been trained, educated, and certified in what they’re doing.

After all, you wouldn’t seek medical help from someone who wasn’t an educated and licensed doctor (hopefully). The same should be true when looking for a counselor. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what every letter placed after a counselor’s name stands for.

But you should have an idea of what they specialize in.

For example, adults struggling with depression probably shouldn’t choose a counselor that specializes in child development. Every counselor will provide you with a list of their specialties. Finding ones that specialize in your area of need is a great place to start.

Not sure what the source of your struggle is? That’s fine. Many counselors offer general, individual-counseling to help you figure out what’s going on.

Comfort and trust should be your highest priority

The only way counseling is going to work is if you’re comfortable, and you trust the person you’re speaking to. Now, the first session or two may feel a little awkward as you adjust to the counseling process.

But you should be able to discern between first-time jitters and a lack of chemistry between you and your counselor.

If your first counselor doesn’t work out, don’t give up!

You may visit a counselor who is a good fit on paper, only to discover you don’t mesh with them. Whether it’s a lack of trust or a lack of comfortability, it’s okay. No counselor is perfect for every person, and sometimes, finding the right one for you takes a few tries.

Professional counselors understand this and will likely be willing to recommend someone else to you if you ask. The world of counseling and therapy is not competitive or prideful. Counselors want you to find the help you need, whether it’s with them or someone else.

photo by Jeremy Bishop

Consider your religious values

If you’re a Christian, then your worldview is very much shaped by your faith. Who you are, how you see things, and what you aspire to be all comes from your relationship with God. Because of that, faith is definitely something you should factor into your counseling search.

That doesn’t mean you can’t explore traditional psychology methods. Christian therapists and psychologists have the same training and education as their non-Christian counterparts. They often employ the same techniques and methods.

The difference is that they understand the underlying view you hold for life itself. Even if God or church are never brought up in conversation, knowing where their faith stands can be very important. After all, you’re granting them access into your mind, and ultimately, your soul.

A simple, free way to find professional Christian counseling

Seeking professional counseling is intimidating for some and stressful for others, and frankly, we’re not okay with that. That’s why we built Torrch: to remove some of the barriers between people seeking help and the professionals who can provide it.

With Torrch, you can find a counselor right in your area that specializes in your needs, accommodates your schedule, and works with your financial situation. Best of all, it’s completely free for you to use Torrch.

All you need is a simple profile (it takes 30 seconds to make), and you can reach out directly to a counselor of your choosing. Before you make any phone calls or visits, you can even chat back and forth with them online.

And if that’s still too much, we can help find a counselor for you.

If you’re ready to seek counseling, click the button below.

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