Therapist questions

Finding the therapist that works well with you depends on more than pot luck.  Unfortunately, the first counselor you see may not be a person that you can work with.  On Facebook I follow Lilly Hope Lucario, she wrote an excellent article on some of the questions to ask a counselor.  I recommend going to her article and reading her perspective.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario
Survivor, Advocate, Empath

I have experience with several different counselors.  One of the counselors answered well on many of my questions on PTSD but I watched what she did.  She placed me with my back to the door to her office.  She walked behind me without explaining why.  Her tone of voice conflicted with her words.  Her words said she believed me but her tone of voice said that what I was saying was quite absurd.  My childhood was strange.  Few counselors, encounter victims of twisted pedophiles that take pleasure in harming their victims.  The story sounds bizzare because it is.  She asked if anyone believed me.  I answered yes, my other counselor, the police and the jury that convicted the man to prison.  If you feel unsure, take someone you trust to the first few sessions.  I recommend writing out your questions.  Listen to their answers and watch their body language to see if their behavior and words match.  Also be aware that a counselor that is great for one person may not work as well for someone else.  Each person brings their own set of expectations and experience to the client/therapist relationship.  Money is also a concern for many people.  I do recommend to be ready to work harder than you ever had before.  Healthy counseling requires a person to peal away the lies they tell themselves to cope with ugliness.  My childhood went from great to monstrous.  Everything I believed about myself came under scrutiny.  I struggled with realizing my memories were real and not the overactive imagination.  I don’t recommend doing this lightly with the idea it will be easy.  It isn’t.  A counselor that makes promises of ‘fixing’ you is giving a false impression.  Healing happens from within.  Counselors guide a person to a healthier way of thinking.  It takes time and effort.


Some other questions you might want to consider:

What are the counselor’s belief about religion?

What are their ideas on family?

If they are out of town, what options do you have in an emergency?

If stressed during the week, is there an option available to either contact by phone, email or some other arrangement?  (My first counselor allowed me to write emails during the week that sometimes he answered but often he would simply say, “I look forward to discussing this with you.”)

In behaviors, does the counselor have appropriate boundaries?

You notice I don’t mention trust.  For most survivors, trust takes time.  It is hard to expect that in the first visit.

If you believe in fasting and prayer, I recommend using that as part of your studying the issue of a counselor.

Good luck on finding a counselor that works for you.


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