Finding the right counsellor can be difficult; not all therapists are qualified to deal with the same challenges, and you may find yourself going from therapist to therapist in search of help before you find someone who’s truly right for you.
A private counselling can be an excellent way to work through personal issues that you’re having trouble resolving on your own, whether it’s about depression, addiction, or simply growing more confident in social situations.
Before booking your first appointment with a private counsellor, make sure to consider these things to ensure that you get the best possible treatment from this valuable resource.
What type of counsellor do you need?
It is important to think about what type of counsellors you are looking for. For example, do you need someone who understands the military? Do you need someone who specialises in addiction or depression? It’s also important to consider whether you want them to be available via Skype, email or text message.
What are the best ways to find the right counsellor?
This can seem like a daunting task, but there are many ways to find the right counsellor. It is important to remember that not all counsellors specialise in the same areas or work with the same populations.
For example, someone who is struggling with addiction may want to speak to somebody who has experience in this area, while someone who is experiencing grief and loss may want to speak with somebody who specialises in bereavement counselling.
There are also specialized sexual assault centres that offer counselling services for survivors of sexual violence, as well as addiction treatment centres and programs for those seeking recovery from substance abuse.
What if you can’t afford it?
If you are unable to afford private counselling, you may be able to find what you need in other places. Asking the following questions can help you find the appropriate type of counselling for your needs:
- What is your current situation?
- Do you want someone to talk to face-to-face, over the phone or online?
- How much contact do you want with your counsellor? (daily, weekly, monthly)
- What languages does your counsellor speak or use when they communicate with their clients?
- What types of problems can the counsellors help with?
- Does this seem like a good fit for me?
How will this impact your relationships?
This is an intimate process. Your therapist will be privy to some of your most personal thoughts and feelings. Not everyone is comfortable sharing that kind of information with anyone, let alone a stranger.
Sometimes you’ll need your therapist to confront you or push you in order to help you work through difficult feelings or memories. But, if this isn’t something that’s comfortable for you, it may not be the best idea to book them as your private counsellor.
If you have a partner or spouse, they might find it unsettling if they suspect that the two of you are talking about intimate details from your relationship on a regular basis.
What happens if you want more sessions than your budget allows?
If you need more sessions than your budget allows, it can be hard to decide whether or not to cancel the remaining sessions and reschedule.
But if you do decide to cancel and reschedule, the counsellor will charge for the session that was missed. There are some ways to avoid this situation though:
- Choose a counsellor who offers flexible payment plans
- Check with your insurance provider in case they cover any of these fees
- Try negotiating an increase in your session package with the counsellor
If you do a book, how can you be sure it won’t negatively impact your mental health?
It is important to be mindful of the reasons for seeking counselling and the potential impact it may have on your mental health. Many people find that attending counselling sessions helps them learn new ways to cope with life’s challenges and can help them feel better about themselves.
However, some people find that counselling sessions can cause more distress or worsen their symptoms of depression or anxiety. If you are feeling suicidal, please get professional help immediately.
If you do book, it is important to ensure that your counsellor is a licensed therapist and must complete at least 3 years of post-secondary education in psychology or psychiatry at an accredited institution and pass a qualifying exam before they are able to practice independently.
How do teletherapy apps like Talkspace differ from traditional therapy sessions?
What’s the difference between Talkspace and traditional therapy? Although they do share some similarities, Talkspace is much more flexible. With Talkspace, you can message your therapist or schedule online video sessions to fit your busy schedule.
What’s more, our therapists are always available for you 24/7. Unlike traditional therapy where the therapist might not be in session when you need them most, with Talkspace our therapists are always just one message away.
Is there a chance that an app could replace in-person therapy entirely someday soon?
Apps are more convenient and accessible than ever, but there are many reasons why in-person therapy still has value. The most obvious reason is that an app can’t give you the human touch that physical contact with another person provides.
We’ve all felt the way our body language changes when we’re talking on the phone versus when we’re in person, and it’s important to feel physically close to someone while discussing deeply personal topics.
Therapy is also much more effective when both parties can see each other’s facial expressions and body language, which an app just can’t replicate. Even though apps are great for providing quick relief or getting advice on certain things, they should never be seen as a replacement for the professional help from an in-person counsellor.
These private counselling sessions can be beneficial for those seeking therapy for themselves or their families, but it is important to consider the following before booking a private counsellor: what are your goals? What do you hope to achieve from this counselling session? How long do you want the session to last and how often do you want it to take place? What is your budget? Where will this take place (in person or online)? Is there anything you want to discuss that is not on this list that may affect your decision in any way, shape, or form?