The task of finding a family counselor that suits your needs can be daunting. There’s so much to consider. Narrowing the choices down to one counselor is a huge decision so this article is dedicated to helping you make the best choice possible.
There are those who might be hesitant to contact a family counselor since they don’t really know exactly how to locate the one that is right for them. Other individuals may have experienced a bad past with therapists and now are scared they’ll encounter the same thing and won’t get the help they need.
By the end of this article, you’ll be much better prepared for the task. You can then begin to look for a counselor who is the right fit for your family and yourself.
This article is to help you find the ideal family counselor to walk with you through whatever it is that you are needing and also to assist you in finding therapy that fits your pocketbook too. Reading this information can be your first step to family healing.
When is it Time to Find a Family Counselor?
It’s never too late or too early to seek help. While family therapy tends to be the last effort for individuals who are already experiencing crisis and after years of damage, psychologically, has already taken place, it’s still never too late. If you have tried everything and it is not working or you’ve tried nothing at all yet, you are on the right track by reading this helpful article.
The good news is that you do not have to end up in crisis or wait until things are out of control before you reach out for help. The sooner you go into family therapy, the quicker your family can become equipped to handle problems and deal with what’s thrown your way.
Seeing a family counselor can be very helpful for decreasing or preventing elevated family problems. The best solution is to find the best family counselor around for the individual needs of your family so every family member is able to feel comfortable and can open up and be honest in the sessions. Within this article, you’ll learn more about searching for a great therapist by examining the needs of your family.
What to Look for in a Family Counselor
Why your family needs help is a good question to ask yourself when you are seeking a family therapist. It’s imperative to know so you can find one that can address your particular problems. Are you feeling overwhelmed as a parent?
Perhaps you don’t feel like you and your spouse are seeing eye to eye on parenting or maybe your issue actually has to do with your child or children. Whatever the issue is, there are therapists who specialize in family topics. Sorting out a specific topic is ideal so you can get the best help with the most effective counseling.
Therapy for Couples
Therapy geared for couples is usually targeted for couples who are married and who have all but given up on their marriage but are making a last effort to make it work. This is not, however, a requirement. You can seek counseling at any time in your marriage.
Couples counseling proves very helpful to those who are married and also to those who are engaged or even just dating. Therapy for couples can increase the chances that your relationship will survive the storms of life and can help the two of you communicate more efficiently and more effectively too. You’ll also learn how to disagree fairly and how to overcome abusive cycles.
Intervention for behavior is the perfect choice for families whose children are experiencing difficulties with adult or peers in their home life, community, or school. Counseling that is focused on behavior intervention will require the involvement of the children and adults in the household if possible.
In a family therapy setting, the counseled child will learn which behaviors are not acceptable and which behaviors are acceptable through unwanted consequences, praise, and rewards. In addition, parents will discover how to set and hold boundaries. They will also learn how to create effective reward systems and other skills as well.
Most therapists specializing in family counseling will request that the parents define exactly what takes place before as well as during and even after the behavior is exhibited so they can best work with the parents in bringing about change. It’s vital for the parents to be actively involved so they are able to learn skills the therapist will be introducing to encourage more positive behavior.
Coaching for Parents
Parental coaching is designed to be a bit different than actual behavior intervention is because of the fact that all the focus leans to the parents. It is fine for the children to be there in the session but it can also be done with just the parents present.
Coaching is all about learning the important skills needed in parenting that are conducive to your child’s psychical health, social, and emotional health. It helps parents find out how to encourage children to listen and heart them, discipline effectively, and set and define healthy boundaries for their children and themselves.
Parent and Child Issues
Issues that are between your child and yourself are difficult to deal with. You may feel torn between being the authoritarian and getting along. If constant fighting, disrespect, and failure to obey are part of the picture within your family life, counseling can help. The situation is further complicated and magnified when mental health problems and/or puberty are in the scene.
You may find that the parenting techniques you applied with your other offspring don’t work with a particular child. That’s not unusual. Therapy can rebuild broken relationships and equip you with the skills needed to parent effectively even when it means acquiring new skills for the child who is not responding to the techniques you are currently using or have used in the past.
Navigating Involvement of the System (Schools, CPS, Police)
When individuals are in a state of crisis they may struggle in numerous areas of their lives, including legal, school, and even protective services for children. The extra involvement can get very confusing and you may feel the parties are pushing you around and ignoring you. Even worse, you may feel threatened.
If you have a third party involvement, you may greatly benefit from seeking help from a social worker. They are trained in navigating the complicated system. They can offer help not only to you but to your entire family and they also act as an advocate on your side. This is very helpful if your situation has elevated to a legal level or there are extenuating circumstances that are overwhelming you. It is important to be represented emotionally and in other ways as well.
What to Focus on When Choosing a Family Counselor
It is imperative to feel comfortable when you are with a therapist. There are many differences between counselors so you want to find one who you can relate to. Not all individuals work together well and all counselors have different personalities and techniques.
Some use a “tough love” approach that you may find helps you a lot and others who use a more gentle approach which might be more your style. Some even operate with both kinds of counseling which might best suit you.
Being aware of the personality type your family and yourself would prefer is vital when considering a therapist. Even knowing which style you don’t want is helpful too.
You can find out a lot about a counselor by taking a look at their website, finding articles online that they have authored, and reading reviews and comments former clients have written in regards to the. The more you can find about a particular therapist, the better. You can then decide if their style might fit your own personality and that of your family.
Once you narrow down a particular counselor, it’s time to make the call. Don’t be leery of asking all the questions you can think of. Ask how they usually work with clients and how they bill. Ask anything you can think of without hesitation. If the answers are not what you are looking for, that is alright. Try another therapist. You are sure to find one if you keep trying.
When seeking to find a therapist, you may also want to look into the form of practice they have. You may want to find one that is Christian based or one that focuses on families or on children in particular.
With a practice that is faith-based, you’ll be welcomed to fall back on your faith where healing is concerned. This is important for believers. Likewise, a practice that is family and child focused will be pro in dealing with the entire family and the issues you might be facing whereas an adult focused practice may not offer child play therapy and other techniques.
You want to find a center that fits your needs, not try to conform to their angle of counseling. When choosing a therapist, it is all about your family and yourself.
Other Things You May Want to Consider
Therapy can be very expensive. While you can’t put a price tag on working though family issues with a counselor by your side if you can’t afford it, you simply can’t afford it.
It helps to think of counseling as a form of preventative medicine. Spending money on it at present can save what you will inevitably spend on it later. It is well worth the investment and there are ways to make it affordable.
Therapists who bill directly to the insurance company for services rendered are in-network-providers. There are providers who will take your payment and then send a bill to your provider. A good number of therapists will not do business that way, however, and are considered “out-of-network providers.”
Those counselors will charge upfront and you are responsible for dealing with your insurance company directly. When doing so, you want to make sure to touch base with your insurance to be sure the service is one that is covered by your policy.
It is common to pay out around 25% of your income when going to counseling. It may seem expensive but when you think about the help you are getting and that it preventative medicine is priceless, you’ll see how vital it is.
In the event that you cannot pay that much for services, you can look for a therapist who uses a sliding scale to determine your payment. The figures will be based on your income rather than on a flat fee. This can be a viable option if your family income is not that high.
There are still other ways of making therapy possible. If you personally don’t think a private practice fits your needs, you might check out a non-profit set up which generally accepts insurance through the state. They usually have inexpensive counseling available from a person who is in their internship, working on their Master’s and who are not yet licensed. Many have found a great deal of help through this type of service.
Where Is the Best Place to Locate a Family Counselor Near Me?
It will be easier to find a therapist now that you know what to look for and what type you may need for your family’s needs. If you’re searching for an “in-network-providers” in the location you live in, your provider can most likely provide a list for you as well.
If you happen to have insurance through the state, you might start by looking for a non-profit in the area. For those seeking Christian counseling, Redding Christian Counseling may be a good choice. Find out more by browsing our online counselor directory to find a family counselor near you.
“Family at Home,” Courtesy of Normalityrelief, Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 License; “Couple”, Courtesy of Wyatt Fisher, Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0 License; “Police Car”, Courtesy of Matt Popovich, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Shadows on a Wall”, Courtesy of Igor Ovsyannykov, Unsplash.com; CC0 License