5 Tips for Finding the Right Counselor for You
Do you know the most important element of success in therapy? Your relationship with your therapist. Individual counseling cannot work if you don’t trust who you’re talking to or if a counselor makes you feel judged, embarrassed or even ashamed of your struggles.
How you feel about your therapist determines how much you’re willing to share and discuss. If you don’t feel like you can trust them or feel judged, you’re more likely to withhold your deepest thoughts, lie about your feelings or just go silent during your sessions. You deserve someone you can build a therapeutic alliance with. That is a bond that you rely on to help you reach your shared goals and work together to achieve positive outcomes.
We believe that everyone deserves to find the perfect match when it comes to counseling, so we have designed this list of five tips to help you find a therapist.
Think About Their Core Characteristics
You may have an idea in your head of what a good therapist is like. Ask yourself what qualities they have that would make you feel most comfortable. This may include:
- • Gender – Are you more at ease with a man or a woman?
- • Age – Do you want to work with someone closer to your age or more experienced?
- • Religious background – Do you want a therapist who shares your religion and may be able to integrate that into therapy?
- • Specializations – Do you want a therapist who has expertise in a certain type of therapy or treating a particular condition?
Identify Your Struggles
Why do you want to go to therapy? If you are suffering from symptoms of depression, struggle with substance abuse or need support as an LGBTQ person, there are different forms of therapy appropriate for your problems. Of course, you don’t need a clinical problem to see a counselor. Individual counseling helps people with all sorts of issues, including breakups, death and grief, insecurity, loneliness and more. What is most important is knowing exactly why you want to see a counselor; this helps you express yourself more clearly and find someone who can help you reach your goal.
Research Every Therapist
You may come across a therapist in an online directory whose biography seems promising. But before you book a session, you should Google their name and read their website and/or social media profiles to see if they are someone you would be comfortable working with.
Ask About a Consultation
A good therapist will be happy to answer questions before booking a session. Send an email or schedule a phone call to talk to a therapist or mental health clinic that interests you. Let them know what you are looking for, what you need and ask if they would be willing to answer. You should ask about their background, their therapeutic philosophy and their experience helping people with your struggles.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve
You are never forced to stay with a therapist who you are uncomfortable with. You also don’t have to remain in therapy with a counselor who you don’t feel understands you or truly helps you. While you should always bring up any challenges or issues with a therapist first, it is also okay to end the relationship and look for someone who you feel better with. Remember, therapy is for you, so be open about your needs and don’t be afraid to voice your needs.
Learn More About Therapy Today
Contact us at Caring Heart Counseling to get help finding a therapist in Denver, Colorado. We are happy to answer your questions about therapy, insurance and more. Just let us know why you’re looking for counseling, and we’ll help you take the next steps in booking a session and working with one of our therapists.
The Benefits of Talk Therapy
When entering therapy for the first time, it’s not strange to wonder what you’ll get out of it. For someone who doesn’t know what therapy is truly about, they may feel like they’re simply going to pay someone to listen to their problems or be told how to resolve them. But talk therapy, also known as individual counseling, is much more than that. It is a place for you to feel safe, understood and heard by a professional, compassionate counselor who wants to help you thrive.
Overcoming any problem, whether it’s mental illness or general life hardships, requires resilience, patience and a belief that things can get better. Metal health problems, like trauma and depression, can warp your perception and cause you to rely on self-destructive or self-defeating behaviors that keep you stuck exactly where you don’t want to be.
By going to therapy, you can experience some major benefits that will gradually help you achieve your goals and live a life that you are proud of. Below are some of the benefits of talk therapy you could experience.
Better Understanding of Emotions and Their Causes
One of the major roles of a therapist is to help their clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves. You learn how to accept your emotions, even ones you are ashamed of or pained by, and how to cope with them. Getting to the root of their cause, as well as actions they’re provoking, can help you free yourself from unhealthy patterns.
For people who are dealing with loneliness from working from home, talk therapy is a wonderful opportunity to work through the anxiety, stress and isolation in a private, supportive environment.
Greater Feeling of Self-Control
When you know how to listen to and respect yourself, you are less likely to act impulsively or do things you regret. Therapy helps you develop coping strategies and skills that make you more confident in your ability to respond healthily to your problems.
Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem
As you work through your emotions and start to see your strengths, you begin to feel more confident. Even if you have spent your entire life with low self-esteem, you are filled with amazing qualities and potential that talk therapy can help you realize. Many people who are fighting with loneliness feel as though they aren’t worth loving or being friends with; therapy helps you see the good in yourself and recognize your value.
Improved Conflict Resolution Skills
People who struggle to make and keep friends or have issues in their relationships can benefit from talk therapy. You will learn how to become less reactive, less defensive and more empathetic through active listening. You’ll also learn how to communicate your own thoughts, feelings and needs in a way that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.
Better Boundaries and More Rewarding Social Interactions
Boundaries help you navigate your way through the world and cultivate the right relationships for you. Many people who come to therapy have no boundaries and don’t know how to develop or assert them. Talk therapy can teach you how to make healthy boundaries and use them to form and maintain more meaningful connections.
Learn More About Talk Therapy Today
Caring Heart Counseling offers individual counseling for children, teens and adults in Denver, Colorado. Our talk therapy services can help you overcome a variety of challenges. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. If you feel like we would be a good match, we can help you book an appointment and pair you with the best fit from our team of supportive counselors.
Friendships / Relationships
Mental Health Therapy for Loneliness
Someone can have many friends, know people everywhere they go and even be in a loving relationship and still feel lonely from time to time. Loneliness is often a sign that we need to reconnect with ourselves, especially if we already have an established support system in real life.
Sometimes, loneliness can also be a wake-up call that we’ve outgrown our current friend group or relationships. Ongoing feelings of loneliness can also be linked to mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety.
For some people, when they feel lonely, reaching out to a friend or family member helps the feeling pass. But if you struggle with feelings of loneliness most of the time and aren’t sure what to do, therapy can help.
Is There Therapy for Loneliness?
Therapy in and of itself can help combat loneliness as you are able to connect with your counselor. They listen to you, take interest in your feelings and help you begin to explore the role that loneliness has in your life and how it is affecting your well-being. In many cases, loneliness comes from self-isolation, which is a coping mechanism many people adopt when they’re suffering from other mental health symptoms.
Feeling lonely is complicated, and you may even feel guilty for your feelings if you have other people you could talk to. But loneliness has nothing to do with your love for your friends and family. Certain relationships in your life may simply be lacking in ways you need to feel fulfilled; you could also be going through a difficult period and not feel like anyone understands you.
Talk therapy explores loneliness to get to the underlying cause. How is it serving you, and what is it protecting you from? Sometimes, isolation and loneliness serve as barricades to connection when you are afraid of vulnerability or intimacy. Therapy helps you identify beliefs and behaviors that might be making your loneliness worse and replace them with healthy alternatives.
How to Cope With Loneliness
Loneliness can trigger other feelings too, including worthlessness, hopelessness and despair. For someone struggling with depression, loneliness can worsen their symptoms and even lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide. The most important thing to do is recognize you’re lonely and acknowledge that feeling. Rather than try to suppress or ignore it, think of loneliness as a messenger that you need to connect.
Engage in meaningful activities with others; if you are trying to make friends, then you may have to start with smaller engagements. Even smiling at the barista or drinking your coffee at the cafe around others can be helpful. It’s also important to look for new opportunities to meet people. You can do this in person and through online communities.
It’s also important to address how your beliefs affect your idea of loneliness. Someone with social anxiety likely sees themself as shy and awkward, which makes them less likely to socialize with other people. If you don’t trust easily or have a hard time getting close to others, then you may have habits that make forming relationships a challenge for you.
You May Feel Lonely, But You Are Not Alone
At Caring Heart Counseling, we are always here to listen and help. Reaching out to a therapist for the first time can be scary, but we are available to answer any questions you have. Contact us today and learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed therapists.