Things seemed to be falling in place for switching to a new counselor. But now I'm back to beginning.
I thought I found who I wanted to see. Scratch that, I found who I wanted to see for sure! The idea of seeing someone I already knew made me only 50% nervous about switching. It would have been through LDS Family Services, so I called them today to ask some questions before going to my bishop. I made sure to write down the questions I had before I called. They were:
Q) Can I see someone who is in my ward?
A) Probably Not
Q) Do you have certain counselors who specialize in depression?
A) All our counselor dealing with depression, no one specializes in any certain thing.
- FYI that is NOT true. All (or at least most) counselors/ therapist have a "specialty".
Q) How would I request a certain counselor
-I didn't ask because I knew at that point that they were not for me.
Here are some other questions you might want to asked when looking for a counselor/ therapist:
- Do you take my insurance? Do you bill LDS Bishops?
- I know being in Utah most will work with Bishops.
- What experience do you have working with the types of problems I am experiencing?
- This has been important to me this go around! I want someone who has lots of experience with depression.
- What types of things would you expect me to do between sessions, if anything?
-Another important thing. In my opinion, if they don't have you do anything in between sessions you won't get much out of it. At least I didn't with Tim. It is important to be actively involved and talking to someone once a week for 1 hour and then nothing isn't being that actively involved in dealing with your issue.
- Would you be able to recommend additional resources? (books, support groups, physicians, complimentary treatments, etc.)
-This goes along with the previous question. Both Joy and James would recommend I read a certain book or article. Some recommend a natural supplement to help, where others might suggest being a physician for medical help.
- If I start having problems between sessions, what are my options?
- Also good to know. I know with James all I had to do was call him and ask for an appointment ASAP and he would squeeze me in.
- Are your appointment times flexible or will I get my own slot?
-If you have a busy schedule it is good to know what to expect. When I first started seeing Joy I had my own slot, meaning I met with her every other Tuesday at 10 am and that didn't change. This last time with Joy it was more flexible then a set time.
- Do you do phone sessions if I need something at a different time?
-This goes along with having problems between sessions. Know if they are open to talking (or texting) with you between sessions or not. Joy always made it clear that I could call or text her anytime!
- Do you think you can help me?
- A good therapist will tell you whether or not they think they are the right fit for you. If they say yes, and then you discover they have NO experience with your problem, consider looking elsewhere.
- What is your spiritual orientation?
-If you are LDS (Catholic, ect.) and want an LDS counselor (or one of your same faith) then make sure to address this. If you are going through LDS Family Services, all of their counselors are LDS.
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