Finding a therapist, psychotherapist, or marriage counselor online can be a trying endeavor for many, but the results are well worth the effort. To find a marriage counselor in Newport Beach, you have to put in an effort to make the right choice. Remember that your choice of a marriage counselor will have a large impact on your future. You want to find a counselor that will be most successful in evoking positive change. This means putting in the time to find a marriage counselor online with the qualifications and experience you need.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Searching for a Marriage Counselor Online
One of the most common ways to find a marriage counselor online is searching for someone listed near your home, place of work, or using a social network to get recommendations from friends.
The following are dos and don’ts for weeding through online counselors that can help you make the most informed decision.
Get referrals from your doctor and/or trusted friends. Friends, family, doctors, and even social networking sites such as Facebook are great places to put out a general call for recommendations from people who know you well.
Check your state psychological association’s website. Each state has its own psychological association such as the California Psychological Association or the Board of Behavioral Sciences which has a database of all members. Search for a marriage counselor in your area or with the specialty you need. Psychology Today is another reputable site with a searchable database.
Check the state professional board for important information. It’s vital to know that the therapists you’re going to call are licensed to practice in your area. Sites like the California Board of Psychology or the Board of Behavioral Sciences have information on licensed therapists such as complaints, suits, or revoked license reports.
Interview your potential therapist. When you call potential therapists, get to know them better by asking important questions, such as:
- What are your areas of expertise?
- What are your fees?
- How long are most sessions?
Your counselor is going to be an important facet in your life and personal growth; take the time to get to know them.
Have a consultation or assessment before committing. Request an initial consultation meeting with your potential marriage counselor before committing to any treatment. This will let you determine if a therapist’s personality, environment, and treatment methods are suitable to your needs. When choosing a marriage counselor, it’s important that you have a rapport with them and trust their expertise.
Don’t use the same therapist as a friend. The person who is best for your friend may not be best for you. Only use the same therapist if you feel comfortable with their advice and that you will be confiding in the same person.
Don’t trust online reviews. Of course, you can read reviews, but keep in mind that therapy is not like retail shopping and a disgruntled client is more likely to write a review than a satisfied client. Besides, the methods which fail one person may work well for another. However, if the reviews reinforce other red flags in the therapist’s professional background then it’ may be best to move on to another marriage counselor.
Don’t get discouraged. If the local counselors and therapists you call cannot take you on or are not proficient enough in your special needs, ask them for a recommendation. Therapists know the industry and may have some idea of a colleague who might be a better match. If they don’t have any specific recommendations, then ask their opinion on how you might narrow your search for better results going forward.
Get to know your criteria, get online and narrow down your choices, get on the phone and start asking questions, and finally, get face to face with your choice before you commit. Taking steps toward better personal mental health is a challenging goal. The Internet is a great tool to help you search for a marriage counselor online that will fit your needs. Use it wisely and begin your journey today!
If you are located in the Newport Beach or Orange County area and are looking for a marriage counselor to help you strengthen your marriage, reach out to Jennifer De Francisco, LCSW at (949) 251-8797 or make an appointment on our website.