In my last post, I addressed the question of how to find an addictions counselor or a therapist specializing in codependency issues. Today, I would like to address the second question that I often get regarding how to choose an addictions counselor or codependency therapist. That question is:
What should I consider when choosing an addictions counselor or codependency therapist?
First of all, understand why you are seeking out a therapist. Considering these questions will assist you in understanding how someone can help you.
What physical symptoms are you experiencing?
What mental frustrations are you having?
What is your emotional health like?
What are the social issues that you are struggling with?
What is the problem that you want to solve?
[one_half_last]Second, you should think about the type of therapist that you want to accompany you on the journey. Just as in any profession, therapists come in many styles and personalities. Not all of them will be a fit for you. (As I say so often, it’s like finding the right pair of shoes!). In order to help you figure out the style and personality you are looking for, ask yourself the following questions.
Am I looking for someone to solve the problem for me? [/one_half_last]
Someone to give me suggestions? Or someone to ask me questions to help me find my own answers?
Am I looking for someone who talks more or listens more?
Am I wanting to go back and solve all the problems of my childhood or do I want to resolve this one issue and move forward (or both)?
Am I looking for someone who considers themselves the expert or someone who considers me the expert?
Do I want someone who will include a religious or spiritual piece as a part of the therapy?
Is it important to me to have a therapist that does a lot of sharing of their own story? Has many years of experience? Is older or younger than I am? Male or female?
Third, call some of the therapists that you have found. In order to find a therapist with a good style and personality match for you, ask them questions that fit the answers to your questions from above. In addition, you find out the following about the therapist:
Their experience with addictions or codependency and how they help people resolve the issues
How long they have been in practice, their fees, and whether or not they accept your insurance (if you want to use your insurance – many people don’t)
How they are licensed, whether or not they follow the ethical principles (especially related to boundaries, confidentiality, and dual relationships), and whether or not they have ever had any complaints filed with the state grievance board
Their appointment availability, length of appointments, how often they can meet with you, and how long they think the treatment process will take
Finally, you have to listen to your gut. So much of what happens in therapy is built on the relationship between the therapist and the client. If you don’t feel comfortable, it is probably not a good fit. To check your gut, ask yourself some questions.
Does it feel right when I am talking to this therapist?
Did the conversation flow easily?
Did the therapist answer all of my questions?
Did the therapist have any significant hesitations as I was asking questions?
Can I picture myself disclosing information to this person?
Your responses to these questions will give you some idea about the fit between you and this particular person. Don’t be shy. Be your own advocate. You have the right to ask questions and feel comfortable with the responses. You are requesting and paying for this help in order to facilitate your personal growth and improve your life: make sure it is a good fit.
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.