How To Find The Right Mental Health Counselor Near Me

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry
Updated November 13, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

If you're experiencing a mental health challenge, talking to a counselor can be a great way to make progress and improve your situation. However, it can be complicated to find mental health specialists that you want to work with. 

There are many different things to consider when choosing a counselor, and this can stop some people from deciding to go forward to meet with one. So, if you find yourself wondering, "How to find the right mental health counselor near me?," these tips can help.

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Finding The Right Mental Health Therapist Can Be Challenging

Who Can Benefit From A Mental Health Counselor?

Practically anyone can benefit from seeing a mental health counselor. It can be especially helpful if you have a mental health diagnosis such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other disorder, but many people benefit from meeting with a therapist when they haven’t been diagnosed with anything. You may feel anxious, have problems in your relationships, want to know how to control mood swings, want to improve your anger management, or any number of other concerns ranging from simple to complex. It’s commonly recommended that everyone sees their general physician each year for an annual physical. Why should it be different from our mental wellbeing?

Whether you experience any mental health symptoms or just feeling overwhelmed with where you are in life right now, a counselor can help you. This could be through digging into your past to find out why you're struggling in the area you are in or simply learning new strategies to help you improve your situation.

Why Is It So Hard To Find A Mental Health Counselor?

There are many reasons why it's so complicated to choose a therapist that's right for you. Your exact reason might be different from the reason that someone else is struggling to find a professional for their mental wellbeing. But, here we will discuss some of the more common issues.

There Are So Many To Choose From

According to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 351,000 mental health professionals whose focus is on mental health or substance abuse practice in the United States as of 2021. It isn't easy to know which one is the right one for you with so many to choose from. This is why it's so important that you know exactly what you're looking for when you start looking for a therapist.

Not All Therapists Have The Same Focus

It can be complicated to choose the right counselor because they don't focus on the same thing. Some professionals choose to focus on specific mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. This helps them give their specific patients the best treatment, but it can be difficult to choose one to work with if you aren't sure what your struggle is.

Or, if there's a therapist that treats multiple conditions, it can leave you questioning if you're getting the best care for your specific challenge.

Many Different Professionals Call Themselves Counselors

If you're looking for a therapist or counselor, there are a lot of different ways that you can go. There are psychiatrists, psychologists, religious leaders, life coaches, and many others to choose from. To find the right counselor near you, you need to identify what requirements you want your counselor to have.

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Not all people who call themselves counselors or therapists have formal education or a license in the area. It's important that when you're meeting with a counselor, you understand what their credentials are and what they're able to offer you because of it.

It's Personal

This is a difficult thing to do, especially with someone that you just met. But, to get the most you can out of counseling, it's something that you have to be able to do.

How To Find The Right Mental Health Counselor Near Me

To address why finding a mental health counselor is so difficult, here are the things you should keep in mind when looking for the right one for you.

Verify Their Credentials

Before you meet with a counselor, make sure you find out what their credentials are. Are they licensed? Do they have an advanced degree? What type of previous experience do they have in counseling?

It's okay not to take their word for it and do a little digging of your own. If your counselor is licensed, they should provide you with the number that you can use to verify that that information is correct. If a counselor says that they have a license but then seems upset that you're asking for the information to verify it, this is a red flag that something might be wrong. Even if they are licensed, this type of attitude can show you that it's a counselor that you don't want to work with.

Find Their Specialty

If you're interested in finding a counselor because you're having problems in your marriage, you will want to find a counselor specializing in this area.

When you work with someone specializing in the area you need help in, you know there's a better chance that they're staying up on the latest trends and adding treatment options.

Consider Affordability

Trying to get sessions with a counselor when you can't afford it will only add to your stress and anxiety level. If your health insurance does not provide any coverage for mental health services, or if it's already been tapped out, you still have some options.

Many therapists offer a sliding scale for their fees. This process bases the cost of your session on your income. This helps to make sessions more affordable for everyone. Simply search in your browser "sliding scale therapy near me" to find budget-friendly counseling services around your area. But there are also other options that you can use. There are free clinics that you can go to. Or, if you're part of a religious organization, you may be able to attend counseling sessions with someone there.

Using online therapy services, like those offered by Regain, is another way that you can reduce the cost of getting professional help with your mental wellbeing. 

Trust Your Gut Instinct

If, for any reason, you aren't comfortable with your therapist, you will not get the same benefit from your sessions. Sometimes you aren't comfortable with a person, and you can't put your finger on why. However, just knowing that you're not comfortable with them in your gut is enough for you to choose someone else to work with.

You don't have to explain to your therapist if you don't want to, but the most important thing in your therapy sessions is that you're getting the help you need. If you're not comfortable with your therapist, then you're not going to be as open as you should be, and your results are not going to be what you're looking for.

Try More Than One Therapist

If you meet with one person and you're not comfortable with them or the results you're getting, it's okay to switch. Please don't think that just because you had poor results with one person that every counselor will be the same. It's not that therapy and counseling don't work; it might just be that you weren't with the right match for you.

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Finding The Right Mental Health Therapist Can Be Challenging

If you have anxiety issues, besides finding anxiety groups online, therapy can also be helpful. There are many different forms of treatment and therapy available to improve your mental well-being. Different therapists use different styles, which can make one person more effective at helping you than someone else.

Takeaway

Finding the right mental health counselor near you involves exploring what you want from therapy and trying to match those wants with the offerings of the professionals in your area. This means doing your research and potentially exploring multiple options before you find the right match.

If you've been considering finding a counselor near you, don't delay in starting the process. Remember that online therapy services like Regain can help you regardless of your physical boundaries and geographic area. They can offer affordable services from anywhere, meaning you can work sessions into your busy schedule without having to account for a commute.

Additionally, online therapy has been proven to be just as effective as its in-person counterparts for a wide range of conditions from anxiety and depression to couples counseling. You would receive the same level of professional assistance online as you would in person, making it a good option for those who can’t find a local therapist.

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