If you find yourself searching for a counselor it can be worthwhile to find one that offers initial consultations. The therapeutic relationship is a very important part of the healing process, so it is essential that you feel comfortable in the space and with the person you are going to share your story with. My consultations typically last about 30-45 minutes, however I’ve seen other clinicians offering consultations anywhere from 20 – 50 minutes. Some counselors will charge for their consultations and others offer it for free.
You, the client, can ask questions about the counselor’s educational background, experience, their rates, scheduling and confidentiality policies. All of this information can help you decide if this counselor is a good fit for you. Additionally, it may be helpful to the counselor if you bring in a summary of what it is you’d like to work on or perhaps a list of goals you’d like to accomplish.
This time is also a great opportunity for the counselor to see if the you are a good fit for them. The counselor will most likely take this time to gather information from you, asking you questions like:
-What brings you to counseling?
-What is your history with counseling or mental health related issues?
-What are some goals you would like to accomplish?
If the counselor decides to refer you elsewhere, it is likely because you have come in with something that is out of their scope of practice.
I wish you the very best of luck in your search for a counselor and I hope that you found this post to be helpful as you embark on this journey. If you have any further questions about how initial consultations work or what to expect, feel free to email me on my contact form or add a comment below!