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Tips for Finding a Counsellor or Therapist

Topic Overview

Psychological counsellors and therapists

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 may not cover all types of therapists. Check with your health plan or family doctor for details.

When calling to make an appointment

  • If possible (or if you have questions), ask to speak with the therapist or counsellor directly, not with 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 (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, so that 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.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 11, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Steven E. Locke, MD - Psychiatry, Behavioral Health
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

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