Ever looked at someone and thought, “that person could really use some therapy”? Ever looked in the mirror and said the same thing? I know that I have! Many of us are aware that we could benefit from talking to a mental health professional. Many of us choose not to due to various reasons. One of the most common statements that I hear when doing an initial intake with a client is that they are new to this and don’t know where to begin or what to expect. Here are some helpful tips to everyone who may be interested in receiving help but have their stipulations about the process.
1. Remember that counseling isn’t just for “crazy” people.
A lot of people don’t go to counseling because of the negative stigma associated with it. We may think that people will assume that there is something wrong with us if we admit that we need to seek some type of professional help. The truth is, we ALL can benefit from mental health help. Anxiety and depression are common occurrences that most, if not all, of us experience at some point in our lives. Some of us know how to cope with it, while others may not. Sometimes life throws curveballs at us that are unexpected and we simply may not know how to deal with them. You don’t have to carry the burden alone. Let us help you! Although we may not have experienced the same things that you have, we are trained to know how to deal with them.
2. Do your research.
There are over 5,000 licensed professional counselors in the state of Louisiana. How do you know which one is right for you? This requires you to do a little research. Psychology Today is a great source to help you find the right mental health professional. You can search for exactly the type of professional that you believe would benefit you. The site allows you to advance your search through gender, location, insurance, religious preference and much more. You can also find personal counselor websites that may give a little more information that isn’t offered on Psychology Today or other websites. You are sure to find someone who can help you. Getting referrals from family and friends can also be helpful to your search.
3. Communicate with the professional.
We mental health professionals are here to help you. We enjoy talking to you to make sure that you are getting the best help that you need. If you find someone that you think would be a good fit, give us a call or shoot us an email. You can inquire more about our services to better prepare you for your visit. If one of us isn’t right for you, feel free to ask us for a referral or to shop around. Your mental health is our top priority, even if it isn’t with us.
4. Set the appointment.
After you have made your decision, go ahead with setting the initial appointment. Once again, this may take a little bit of communication to make sure that our schedules sync with yours. If you are still afraid and you don’t consider your concern urgent, set it in the near future so that you may have a little time to prepare.
It is so easy for us to make excuses to get out of things that we don’t want to do. I know that I do it all the time. Try not to neglect the importance of your mental health. Make it a priority. Mental health professionals provide you with a safe environment that encourages you to express yourself in whichever way you feel comfortable. Come see us and help us to help you become the best you that you can be.