Regardless of the reason that motivates you to pursue finding a counselor or therapist for your child or teen, finding the best counselor for your needs is a highly personal matter. There’s no exact science to finding the perfect match or best counselor, but these helpful tips will guide you in the right direction.
Everyone goes through difficult times at various points in their lives. When your child or teen isn’t able to work through their emotions or situations on their own and you are feeling at a loss, counselors and therapists can be instrumental in helping your family set realistic goals and make progress feel better and make positive choices.
Helpful Steps in Picking the Best Counselor for You
A good first step is to pick a few counselors in your area and visit their websites. This way you can learn more about their services, rates, and style. You can also check with the San Diego Psychological Association to see your local directory for psychologists.
Next, see if the counselor offers a free consultation to get to know them on the phone or in person. Once you talk with the therapist, you’ll get a sense of your comfort level with that individual. Ask some questions about their approach to treatment. Inquire about areas of specialty (e.g., do they specialize in child counseling or teen counseling in San Diego North County). The best counselor for you will make you feel cared for. They will also be confident in treating the issues that brought you in.
Listen to your intuition when deciding whether you will be able to trust the therapist. Ask questions about the types of interventions that they use with children and teens. This includes length and frequency of therapy, tools used in child and teen therapy, and philosophy about wellbeing.
A good therapist has the experience and training to help you make positive changes in your life. Sessions will equip you to become stronger and more self-aware. Your therapist will help you identify goals to work on and assess your progress towards reaching them.
What to Expect When Starting Therapy
Be aware that the therapist doesn’t do all the work for you. Being ready to make change is an important part of the therapy process. Part of your progress depends upon you being an active participant. For this reason, no counselor or therapist can guarantee your success, so be wary of counselors who make lofty promises.
Your child or teen might feel a bit uncomfortable opening up about difficult feelings in the beginning. And the trust that your child or teen has with their counselor or therapist will help them work through strong feelings. You will know that your child or teen is ready to end therapy sessions when they’ve met their goals.