4 Simple Questions to Figure Out: When is it Time for Counseling?
I am always so humbled when a new client reaches out to me. Many times they have never been in counseling but they have gotten to a place where something is unmanageable and they need help. They are true heroes.
How do you decide when it is time for counseling?
Then how do you decide who to see?
Let's jump in to see if I can help you answer those questions.
Ask yourself the following 4 simple questions:
How often is this issue bothering me?
How is this issue affecting my quality of life?
Is this issue causing me or my loved ones a lot of stress?
How could things be better if this issue was resolved?
If you find that this issue is a problem much of the time and causes a lot of stress when the problem arises and nothing you have done is making it better, then perhaps it is time to find someone to talk with.
For example, Dahlia has a brother who is married to a subtly mean woman. Each time their families get together, Dahlia goes into a deep depression because her sister-in-law is very cruel but in quiet ways. They only get together a few times a year, but Dahlia has had enough. She feels crazy and needs help to figure out what to do and how to manage.
Then you have Trevor who feels anxious each time he goes to work. He enjoys his work and cannot figure out what is happening to him. He needs help to understand the anxiety and a plan, tools, or healing to get it to stop.
Your situation may be related to family, work, or other relationships. Once you figured out that counseling could be helpful, then what?
How Do You Find a Therapist?
Word of mouth. Maybe your friend or family has has success with a therapist.
Your church may keep a list of referrals.
What's important to you? - Faith based? - State-licensed or pastoral licensed? - Do you want/need a diagnosis (if you go to a state licensed therapist they have to diagnose you) or no diagnosis? - Male or female? - In person or video?
- Cost? (this fee depends on the education, expertise, and experience of your therapist. (I figured out I
have over 13,000 clinical hours in my 18 years of being a therapist!)
- What type of treatment appeals to you? There are MANY and not one is “best.” But there is one
question that will be important..... Do you want faith-based counseling? What is the difference, you
wonder? You can read my article about that here.
Many good therapists are Christian, but don't necessarily weave in Christian tools to help you (that used to be me many years ago).
Then you have Christian counselors that do bring in Christian tools, but they are not trained in psychotherapy (think lay counselors).
Then you have inner healing ministries that just focus on ministry and are not trained in counseling (like Sozo and theophostic).
Soooooooo many decisions! So how do you decide?
Ask God to guide you to the right person at this time to help you.
Maybe you have a therapist and a separate person for inner healing (if that is what you want).
For those that decide you want a state-licensed therapist, go for it! It is for you that I am creating a special journal to help you along in your counseling (yay!). It is a book filled with spiritual tools to help you as you heal.
This journal will also be a great support to ALL Christians who are in counseling and want some help between sessions (including my own clients!). I hope to have it ready by August 1st, 2022.
God moved me to be a therapist under Him. This means that I offer the best parts of therapy with Christian tools along with inner healing. I do not diagnose but do use temperament testing to help me (and you) learn more about God's design in you.
I hope this article was helpful to you.
Bless you on your journey to heal!