How to choose the right professional?
Are you thinking of enlisting the help of a mental health professional and need advice on choosing the right person to accompany you? Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you!
When you embark on the process of seeking professional help, the first step is to find the right person to contact. To start, we strongly suggest that the person you choose be a member of a professional association that regulates the profession and ensures public protection.
You will then have the choice between a professional in the public, community or private sector. If you opt for the private sector, you can also take into account criteria such as the counsellor’s gender, experience, specializations, therapeutic approach, and so on. But how do you know who to choose?
We understand that the range of choices can be daunting and make you feel anxious. It’s easy to get lost among the different approaches, advantages and disadvantages of each profession. Don’t panic, we’re here to help! Even though many counsellors prefer not to advertise their services, our directory and the websites of professional associations are full of valuable information. You’ll find details about the target clientele, the therapeutic approaches and the issues addressed by the counsellors in your region.
It’s also important to consider your own preferences when it comes to the methods of practice. Would you prefer to meet with your counsellor in person, over the phone or via video conferencing? If you choose in-person consultation, make sure to take into account the counsellor’s location. If you prefer phone or video consultation, you can broaden your search to include all the professionals in your province of residence.
Don’t forget to check with your insurance company to find out which professions are covered, or see if you have access to an employee assistance program. These aspects might help make your choice easier.
Word-of-mouth is also a great way of obtaining reassuring recommendations. Ask your friends and loved ones for their opinion as they may have had positive or negative experiences with certain counsellors. This may help give you an idea of the person you want to consult, or on the contrary, help you avoid certain people. Finally, don’t hesitate to contact the counsellors that interest you to find out more about their approach, how they operate and their fees. This will enable you to establish initial contact and determine whether you feel comfortable with them.
Most importantly, remember to trust your intuition! Years of experience, therapeutic approach, location and follow-up arrangements can help you make an informed decision, but in the end, you need to listen to how you feel. Look closely at the counsellors’ photos and explore their websites or social media pages to get an idea of who they are. Pay particular attention to the sound of their voice and how you react to it. All of these elements are essential because beyond the professional scope, you need to build a trusting relationship with your counsellor. And to do this, you’ll need to base your choice on much more than their credentials and experiences.
Choosing to consult
Three essential steps to help you prepare.