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Tips for Finding a Counsellor or Therapist


The terms counsellor and therapist cover a variety of trained professionals. The differences between therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors may not be as important to you as finding someone with whom you are comfortable.

Professionals who might provide counselling services include:

Provincial health plans do not cover all types of therapists. Check with your health plan for details.

Choosing a counsellor or therapist

Here are some tips to keep in mind when calling to make an appointment with a counsellor or therapist.

  • If possible (or if you have questions), ask to speak with the therapist or counsellor directly.

    You might have to ask a receptionist or assistant.

  • Be clear about the problem for which you want help.
  • Ask the therapist or counsellor about his or her background with your problem.

    Ask how many people he or she has worked with on this type of problem.

  • Ask the therapist to explain his or her views about the problem.
  • Ask how long the counselling might take.

    Then you can picture how it will fit into your life.

  • Ask any other questions that would make you more comfortable with the idea of attending a session.

If you go to a therapist and don't like what happens, don't give up on the idea of counselling. Sometimes a different counsellor will fit your personality better. Try again with someone new.

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Current as of: June 25, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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