Choosing a counselor in Tampa, FL

Choosing a counselor in Tampa, FL can be difficult! There are so many options to choose from and it’s hard to know which one is best for you. We created this guide that will help guide you as you search for the right in person counselor in Tampa, FL.

The Right Match.

In the end, finding someone who you click with is the most important piece of the puzzle. It’s kind of like dating.. not every date goes well but when things click it’s like magic. This therapeutic relationship is so important that when the American Psychological Association (APA) created a task force to determine the most effective type of therapy, they discovered that the type of therapy mattered less than the therapeutic relationship. Regardless of whether the therapist used “cognitive behavioral therapy” or “psychodynamic therapy”, patient improvement depended on how well the therapist and the patient got along.

Studies show a therapist’s ability to show warmth, genuineness, and empathy is key to their ability to form a therapeutic alliance.

Do they have experience working with people like me?

When choosing a counselor, it can be helpful to know how many years of experience they have. It’s also important you find out what kind of training they have had in the type of therapy that is best for your needs. A therapist might graduate from school and get licensed without having any significant work or clinical experience which means their skills aren’t up to snuff for your needs.

Keep in mind that regardless of their qualifications or credentials, it’s important to remember that a good counselor will have experience working with someone just like yourself. The good news is that a simple phone call will can help you understand that the right therapist is almost like a good friend that just happens to have a special set of skills and professional tools to help you with anxiety, depression, trauma, self confidence issues, personal growth strategies and so much more!

What’s their philosophy?

You might be looking for a more traditional approach to mental health, or you could want to work with someone who specializes in modern approaches like mindfulness, performance coaching, or Gottman relationship counseling. What we’ve found is that it’s best that your counselor is adaptable and has a toolkit that can evolve around your specific needs.

Considering these 3 keys to focus on will help guide your decision on which type of counselor is best suited for you and the issues that you’re facing.

What to expect during your first session

During an initial session, your therapist will likely explain how therapy works, and will explore the problems you’re experiencing and goals you have while you work together. They will help you feel comfortable, explore your entire life and make you entirely comfortable with the process. The real goal of your first visit is so your counselor can gather enough background information to ask the right questions, establish future goals, understand the overarching family and lifestyle situation and really develop a plan to be able to be helpful.

This first appointment is a great time for you to ask questions and get comfortable during your future therapy sessions to do the real work. At the end of this meeting, you and your counselor should have an idea of how to work together.

The Benefits of Counseling and Therapy

The real benefits of counseling and therapy are that it can help you move past your feelings, reconnect with yourself or others in a different way, learn how to handle difficult emotions and thoughts more effectively, identify unhealthy behaviors so they can be changed, find ways to cope when life gets overwhelming.

Counseling benefits not only the individual seeking treatment but also their family.

Consider Who You Might Work Best With

Things to consider:

Gender – Do you feel more comfortable with a male or female

Age – Do you want to work with someone older, younger, or around your same age?

Specializations – Does your counselor have a particular interest or area they focus on? Is the education your therapist has able to help anxiety, depression, relations, marriage and family, etc. Many therapists have a narrow focus and might be a better fit for you than someone else. The training and mentorship a therapists receives is a key for a good fit.

Insurance – The truth is that insurance should be the absolute last consideration when it comes to your mental health. In the end you will be very limited if you try to find a counselor or therapist covered by your insurance company – not only in the number of visits you have, but also in the quality, training and fit of the therapist. Your mental health should not be left to the whims of an insurance panel.

Finding the right Counselor

When it comes to finding the right counselor or therapist, there are many things you’ll want to consider. You might not know where to start, so we’ve done some of the work for you in this blog post series. We hope that by now you have a better understanding of what questions to ask and how to find people with experience working on issues like yours who share your philosophy about therapy. If all this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – our team is ready and waiting! Schedule a free 15-minute phone call with one of us today; we would love to hear more about your needs and see if we’re a good fit for each other!