Counseling Resources

What do I look for in a good therapist?

A good therapist should first and foremost be a good listener. He or she should make you feel comfortable and provide you with information about the services they provide as well as clear goals which you develop together. A therapist should also know their own limitations and be able to refer you to someone else if your needs aren’t being met.

 

What kind of questions should I ask?

Talk about your main problem and if they specialize in that area, or if they would recommend someone else. Ask how long they’ve practiced and what certifications or licensures they have. You should also ask up front about fees, insurance coverage, and copays. It can also be very helpful to ask about what types of treatment strategies they use (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and provide information on those treatments if you aren’t familiar with them. Consider asking about other cases that are similar to yours and how that particular therapist helped in that situation. If you are seeing a Christian therapist, ask about their own faith background and how it fits in to their practice.

 

Should I always go to a Christian therapist?

In short, it depends! There are many situations where you may feel it is best to talk with someone who shares your faith and values, such as when dealing with marital issues. However, any good therapist, even a secular one, should respect your beliefs and faith. In looking for help with medication management or behavioral needs, expertise, and knowledge may be more important than the faith background of the person helping you. If you aren’t sure about the advice you’re being given, talk about it with your pastor. If you feel you’re being asked to do something against your beliefs, talk about that with your therapist and consider if finding a new counselor would be best.

 

Click here for a list of places to contact for addiction, counseling, and suicide/crisis services. 

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Check out our series, Finding Wholeness in a Broken World, which addresses topics about anxiety, mental health/mental illness, shame, guilt, the busyness of life, etc.