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Have things been rough lately and you need to talk to someone about it? Finding the right counselor or therapist is important when engaging in the form of talk therapy.  The right professional can assess your situation and help you understand your options. They can provide a confidential listening ear when you need to vent.  You have been considering the idea of talking to someone, but you are confused about the different types of titles and professionals available.  How do you choose? Take the time to learn about the different opinions and methodologies of a therapist in your area; or take it to the next level and sign up to speak with one online.

It is commendable to take the first step in recognizing you need to talk things out. It takes strength and courage to get out there and handle issues alone.  Taking the leap can encourage you to sustain overall good mental health habits and help you stay in control when things get challenging.  Now that you are on the path to making healthy choices you need someone who is qualified to guide and advise you through your trials.  Here are a few basics to keep in mind as you determine the best professional to select.

 

Learn Professional Titles and Meanings

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There are different types of counselors and specialists, and they go by different titles such as social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, and so on. There are specialists and counselors with interchangeable titles such as mental health specialist or a licensed professional counselor. Each of these may have training and certifications that vary. Understanding appropriate titles can help you eliminate certain professionals based on their expertise.

 

What Type of Professional Is Best?

Choosing the right professional will depend on your situation. Why do you need to talk to a professional? If you want to deal with emotional issues or stress, a counselor may be a helpful option. If you have employee health care coverage, they may have a helpline or online directory to help you find a professional based on insurance. If you feel things are intense or complex and you want extensive treatment, consider a psychiatrist or psychologist. You will also want to learn how the professional provides therapy or counseling sessions. Learn about methods they encourage, and how you can benefit from them.

 

Selecting a Provider

There are a few ways you can choose a provider for your counseling or therapy. Get recommendations from people you know. You can learn about professionals available under your insurance plan or contact your insurance company for leads.  Community health centers offer free or low-cost counseling options if you don’t have health coverage.  As you learn about different options, make a list of potential providers. Check their history and background as a counselor or therapist. Sometimes you can contact them by phone and talk to them before meeting them in person. The idea is to narrow down your options to a few and learn more about their qualifications. Learn if they have helped people in similar situations as yourself. Have questions ready to ask to learn more about their experience and how they provide services.

 

Additional Tips on Making a Final Selection

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Once you have learned background information about potential professionals, make a decision. Based on qualifications and experience, who do you feel comfortable with scheduling an appointment? Take your time making a selection. You will spend valuable time with this person and have expectations that include improving your livelihood.  Learn what others have said about the professional if there are feedback and reviews available.

It may be a little confusing understanding your options but don’t let it be a barrier keeping you from getting the help you need.  Think about your needs and the qualifications of the specialist or counselor. Choose based on their ability to meet your needs. Once you settle on an option and have your first session, you can make a final call on whether the option is right for you.  If you are not comfortable with them, keep trying by moving on to another professional that peaked your interest during research.  Here is to wishing you the best!

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