View Full Version : How to pick a good counselor?

May 17th, 2014, 03:20 PM
I have been having some issues lately, and I think I need to see someone about them. However, I've never really had any good experiences with mental health professionals, and I was wondering how I can find someone who will REALLY help me?


** I have been struggling with a lot of anxiety
** I think that my anxiety/perfectionism/obsessions are beyond "normal," and that I might have a more serious problem

May 17th, 2014, 03:27 PM
Might depend on where you are and how would you find a counselor.
Can you organize to meet a few for an initial appointment or what is the referal process.

Difficult to answer as I dont know where you are

May 17th, 2014, 03:39 PM
My mom is calling this group of counselors that she had experience with. I think I am arranged to be meeting a few for an initial appointment. Do they assign me with a counselor or do I pick one from the group?

I think they are affiliated with a local hospital in the area, but they work in an outpatient center.

May 21st, 2014, 06:39 PM
I think to start everything off with me my parents spoke to the doctor first :eek: to ask about a way I can talk to someone and then when that stopped and I had more problems my mum took me there again so we could get the meetings re started. I stopped going there a second time... Do you know what your actual "problems" are or are you looking for a diagnosis? I don't know too much about this because my (s)mother did all of the work to organize everything and still is with all the other crap right now :( Family want me to lose weight, so last week I with my mum started to talk to someone; I leave today after the second appointment and have a panic attack in town AGAIN because I was told I'd have to see this woman on my own next time. Because of that I want to cancel the appointment and if I do that I can't see her again. My anxiety is that bad I am unable to get help and in a way don't want it either. I'm terrible, leaving school last year made me much worse, and these people who think my weight is the cause of my anxiety are wrong and I really think I have more than just autism/aspergers.

I only know about in the UK so I can't be too helpful if you're somewhere else. But unfortunately I think a doctors appointment would be the best way to start anything off, especially if it goes as awkward as mine did and why I've had 3 GPs in the past 4 years and I avoid going there at all costs :lol: :whoops:

My anxiety issues are so bad I can't talk to anyone. I need my mum or dad with me. And the problem with that is; people start to think I'm confident because I feel better when around them and then when I'm on my own I struggle. Eye contact and some forms of physical contact are definitely my main problem. The reason I'm so worried about this is when we were with this woman earlier, she was talking to my mum and I was mostly just on the side; I'm always better when I don't have to pay full attention and don't have to look them in the eyes. I think I'm claustrophobic and agoraphobic (moderate and not extreme... YET) as well as arachnophobic, and with extreme social anxiety but as I've said I can't check for anything else because my problems are that bad now and hardly anyone ever listens to me when I try to tell them what's wrong... (I met this woman I'm blabbing on about in a supermarket, it's a different kind of program. and the "counselor" I went between 3 of them as I started with one, she luckily left, I moved on to another and she eventually left because of illness so I went a while without speaking to them, got depressed again and had a new counselor after that. yadda yadda :()

Hopefully someone will come across this thread who knows where "In your mind" is and how to get help there :lol: but I'm in the same boat and I'm not bothering to look because I know 2 meetings down the line I'll freak out again and get myself ran over which I would have earlier if my mum wasn't with me. If you think you really need it, good luck :rolleyes: but I really don't see how these kind of people can help when it comes to anxiety...

May 30th, 2014, 05:06 PM
I think the very best way is to go to a therapist that is recommended by a doctor, friend or relative. If someone has actually worked with that therapist & has confidence in them, then you will receive accurate information.

Some therapists specialize in teens, some are better with certain diagnoses- your physician or school counselor has probably made several referrals to therapists, & they most likely received feedback about the skills of that therapist from those referred people.

Above all, do not go to a therapist that doesn't feel right to you. Dump them immediately & go to someone else. It is their job to gently nudge you into areas of your life that may seem uncomfortable, but if they ignore your goals- dump them. Don't waste your time or money with them.

As an example: I was sexually abused as a 12-13 year boy. When I was 15, my girlfriend broke up with me, & I was incredibly angry with myself for what I did to cause that break up. I wanted to discuss my feelings about the mistake I made with her; the therapist only wanted to discuss my abuse for two complete (50 minute) sessions. So, I fired her & went to another one that ended up helping me understand how I had irritated my girlfriend!

May 30th, 2014, 11:26 PM
What you might want to do is go back to your GP, and before going, write down exactly why the counsellor doesn't work for you.

Ask, politely, if it could be possible that you be referred to a psychologist rather than a plain counsellor. Like the poster above said, don't go to a therapist that doesn't feel right to you. A counsellor should be unbiased, non-opinionated, and genuinely caring. That's rare, I know, and maybe you might see a psychologist with a private practise (not affiliated with the NHS).