Questions to ask a potential counselor

Finding a great counselor can often be a monumental task. Here are some questions that can help you in the process.

How to find the best fit for you:

Taking steps to improve yourself, family, or kids is a big decision. You have the right to find the very best counselor for your family. Here are some questions that every counselor or therapist should be able to answer. We want you to feel comfortable, ask us as many questions as you would like, this is a big decision:

 Q: What type of license do you have? 

Not every counselor is trained the same. Here are some common definitions that you will hear.
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) has completed at least 2 years of counseling under supervision and passed the national test. Or they were grandfathered in if they started practicing before 1991. An LLPC is still under supervision and is working toward the full license.
Fully Licensed Psychologist or Limited Licensed Psychologist (LLP)  has training in psychology. They often also provide testing. Psychology is the oldest field. LLPs are Master’s level psychologists, in MI a fully licensed psychologist must have a doctorate.
Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW) have training in social work and have the broadest view. As a result, they have less training in counseling than LLPs, LPCs, and fully licensed psychologists. Many LMSWs complete additional training after their Master’s degree.

Q: What type of training do you have?

Depending on the program (Psychology, Counseling or Social Work) a counselor’s focus in therapy can be very different. Ask follow-up questions so that you are informed.  

Q: What are the first 3 sessions like?

This will give you an idea of what to expect. Some counselors have a clear plan, while others hear your story, some make Treatment Plans to help measure goals, while others don’t. Their approach should be similar to what you are looking for.

Q: What theoretical approach do you take?

When you ask this question part of it is the actual theoretical approach. But really, you want a counselor that can translate complex psychological terms into everyday language. If they say that they do cognitive-behavioral therapy, that probably doesn’t mean much to you, so hopefully a counselor will explain that in everyday language.

Q: How many sessions do most clients attend?
Counselors usually have an idea of how long clients attend therapy with them. Depending on what you are looking for, this can be an important question to ask.  

The most important thing is that you are comfortable with your counselor.

If you live in the Traverse City area, please contact us if you would like to set up a counseling appointment: Click here-We’d love to hear from you or 231-929-2600 ex. 2

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