In social settings when we are meeting new people, one of the most common questions we ask is “What do you do?” As an addictions counselor, I always get some interesting reactions to my answer.
(or their family member’s) life history over the next 5 (or 50) minutes. Eventually, there will be a few individuals will circle back to me in private and ask specific questions because they are interested (or they know someone who is interested) in seeking out some type of substance abuse treatment or codependency therapy. Inevitably, they will ask one of two questions. The first question is:
How do I find an addictions counselor or a therapist specializing in codependency issues?
Great question! So how do you find a therapist? There are several ways (and there is much more information available than there was 10 years ago!):
Ask your friends. This may be difficult as there still is so much stigma attached to mental health and addiction issues. However, this is one of the best ways – if you have a friend you like and they have a therapist they like, chances of a personality match are higher.
Ask your primary care physician. Of course, this means that you have to disclose why you are asking – which in the age of coordinated care (and in the best interest of your health) is probably a good thing.
Ask another therapist. Of the thousands and thousands of therapists in the world, only a small percentage have a speciality in addictions and/or codependency treatment. And most of the ones that don’t specialize in addictions, don’t want to work with that particular issue so they refer out. Meaning, that they probably have some names of addictions counselors in their contact list that they would be happy to share.
Check the yellow pages of the local phone book or your yellow pages online. Look under addictions, counselor, or therapist. (I’m curious, does anyone actually keep the hard copy of the yellow pages anymore?!)
Check a therapist referral service such as Psychology Today or GoodTherapy. At these sites, you can search by zip code or city and specialty. You can also start to get a sense of the therapist ‘s personality by reading their profile and you can find out specific information such as fees and whether or not they take your insurance. These sites allow you to search through many therapists in a short period of time.
Check your state licensing board. They will have a list of all the licensed therapists in your state. You can check the licensing for therapists in Colorado here.
And of course, you can check one of the internet search engines. You can type in the issue and your zip code (or your city) and see what comes up (ie: addiction therapist 55555). Many therapists today do have a website that will describe their services and their methods and generally give you more information about themselves and their work.
Once you have resolved the issue of how to find an addictions counselor, there is invariably the second question: What should I consider when choosing an addictions counselor or codependency therapist? I will address this question in my next post.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or codependency issues, Contact me today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about how we can work together or find the right person for you.