Updated: May 26, 2022
Finding the right counselor can be difficult. You might scroll through the hundreds of profiles on psychology today, and make endless phone calls only to discover most counselors either don't take your insurance, are fully booked, or just straight-up quackers... and as you already know, you actually don't want to see them.
Take it from an insider in the counseling industry.
Don't get stuck with a therapist you don't like. Or stuck with no therapist at all.
Follow these tips to find the right counselor for you in Northwest Arkansas.
1. Start with people you know
Talk with friends, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and others who you trust to see if they have had a good experience with a counselor in the area. This may be the number one way to find the right counselor for you with the least amount of effort.
You are getting honest feedback from trusted sources.
This is where you should start.
2. Consider Your Fit with the Counselor in Question
Finding the right personality fit is key for success when finding a counselor in Northwest Arkansas. Studies have shown that one of the most important factors in therapy is the therapeutic alliance. With that being said, if you don't feel comfortable with your counselor or you don't feel like you are on the same page. Please don't feel the need to stay.
You actually might end up doing more harm than good staying with a therapist that you don't have a great therapeutic alliance with, than reaching out and finding one you feel great seeing.
It may be important to see if your therapist has similar values or background that you have. Anna Sneed, LCSW states that, "My therapist was trying to get me to use crystals and I was like, I don't think this is going to work." If your therapist is nowhere near the same page as you considering their background, values, and thoughts regarding treatment, you might consider finding a new therapist.
3. Consider what the counselor specializes in?
After considering fit, specialty comes next. Sometimes what you need is someone with a lot of treatment experience with a specific issue or model of therapy. There are a million specialties, but some to consider are list below
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) - Find an EMDR therapist here
Equine Assisted Therapy - Find an Equine Assisted Therapist here
Anger Management Specialist - Find an Anger Management Specialist here
Marriage and Family Therapist - Find a Marriage and Family Therapist here
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Find a TF-CBT trained therapist here
While specialities are not the end-all-be-all when choosing a counselor, they are an important factor to consider.
4. Realize how you will pay for counseling
It's one of the big questions. How will you pay?
Typically there are two main options.
Filing for insurance. Or paying cash out of pocket.
Filing your insurance may cost you upfront, but if you are in therapy for the long haul you may find benefits after meeting your deductible in therapy. After you meet your deductible, some insurances have a zero dollar copay, but many times a co-pay for a session costs as low as $30.
However, before you meet your deductible, sessions out of pocket may cost around $165 to meet with a fully licensed counselor. That is something to take into account when filing insurance.
If insurance is out of the question, due to factors such as not being able to find a counselor with the insurance you have, or your deductible makes it not worth it, consider paying cash.
A lot of counselors will take a reduced cash rate if you are willing to pay cash. Furthermore, if you are in Northwest Arkansas and looking for a counselor, think about finding an L.A.C. or a counseling intern.
These counselors don't have as much experience, but they have training and can offer very beneficial counseling services for the price.
A side note on paying for a counselor.
Sometimes employers offer EAP programs that provide a limited amount of counseling sessions for a specific mental health issue. These can be a great option!
The downside to this option is that it typically does not pay therapists well, and many therapists opt-in to better paying options such as major insurances like BlueCrossBlueShield.
5. Understand where and how often will you see your counselor
Another factor to consider is where your counselor is located and how often can you meet with them. Some therapists only have enough room for counseling an individual or family once a week. There are certain situations where that might be too little.
You might also have a therapist that you like in Rogers, but they are hours away from where you are located in Little Rock. It may still be possible if your counselor provides tele-health or virtual counseling.
~ Looking for a virtual counseling provider in Northwest Arkansas? ~
Book a virtual counseling session online and try your first virtual session for FREE!
We know that finding a counselor in Northwest Arkansas can be difficult,
let alone finding a good one.
If you follow these tips and guidelines, you will ultimately help your chances for success in finding the right counselor for you!