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Choosing a Family Counselor

Jan 30, 2008
Choosing a family counselor is an important decision, since families today face more stress than many families of previous generations. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to seek the help of a professional therapist in order to strengthen relationships and rebuild and regain trust and confidence. Choosing a family counselor may seem like a challenge, but it is actually very easy once you take the time to identify your expectations and goals for each session.

The first step is to ask around, because even if people are reluctant, at least initially to discuss their therapy experience, more people than your realize have been to therapy at some point in their lives. If, for example, you know anyone who has seen a marriage counselor, you may want to consider asking them if they would recommend him or her. You may also want to check with your pastor or clergy, since many of them offer counseling services or at the very least, can refer you to someone who does.

When you find a potential family counselor, the next step is to set up an appointment for a consultation. This will provide you with an opportunity to talk to your potential counselor face to face and also, give you an impression of the office in which they work. During your consultation, you can ask questions about the counselors specialty, whether a discount is offered for reduced rate appointments, ie a getting to know you appointment for your counselor and the rest of your family, and what kind of experience the counselor has treating issues similar to those faced by your family.

If the first counselor or two is not a good fit, do not be discouraged. Even if you begin going to a family counselor and decide that they are not a good fit, you should keep in mind that there are many qualified professionals out there who can help you, and that each one has their own unique method and style. Some counselors even charge on a sliding scale, which is a nice feature for families for whom money may be an issue.

The important thing to remember is that choosing a counselor is an investment in the future of your family, and that admitting and recognizing problems within the family dynamic are the first real steps towards building healthier and more fulfilling relationships with family members that can last a life time. Your family consists of the people who are most important to you, which is why you should never let a problem persist that has the potential to damage your family permanently, no matter how tempting it may be to avoid the problem in its initial stages.
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