4 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Clinical Counsellor Vancouver
Are you experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, self-esteem, or other emotional and mental health issues? If so, you may consider seeing a clinical counsellor.
Although some people interchangeably use the terms “counsellor,” “psychologist,” and “psychiatrists,” they’re different professions. A clinical counsellor is a mental health professional who provides therapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Even if they don’t prescribe medications, they use different techniques to help people understand, work through their challenges, and make positive changes in their lives. (1)
When you’re feeling vulnerable and seeking professional help, you must choose a clinical counsellor you can trust. But with many Vancouver counsellor options, how can you be sure to select the best one for your needs?
Here are four factors to consider when making your decision:
Professional credentials and experience
One of the most critical factors to look for when choosing a clinical counsellor is credentials and experience. Your life, mental health, and well-being are on the line, so you want to make sure you’re in good hands.
The clinical counsellor should have a master’s degree and training in counseling from an accredited institution. For instance, in British Columbia (BC), individuals who receive a registered clinical counsellor (RCC) designation have met the rigorous requirements set by the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). That means their peers have evaluated their clinical competence, and they’re required to adhere to the organization’s ethical standards and code of conduct. With this in mind, you know they have the necessary education and skills to provide you with quality counseling services. (2)
Additionally, it’s best to choose a registered clinical counsellor in Vancouver with extensive years of experience. This factor is essential because with experience comes knowledge and maturity. The counsellor would have gone through challenges, worked with different types of clients, and been more attuned to the human condition.
However, it doesn’t mean you have to rule out new counsellors. They might have fewer years of experience, but they can still be competitive and offer a fresh perspective. After all, you want to feel confident and comfortable with the experts you’re entrusting to your mental health with. This is where credentials could be a good metric.
Counseling approach and techniques
Not all clinical counsellors are the same, and neither are their approaches and techniques. Find out their methods when looking for the right experts for your mental health needs. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect from therapy sessions and whether their methods align with your needs and goals. For instance, some counsellors prefer using a directive approach while others are non-directive.
The former type will be more hands-on and provide specific guidance and advice. This professional may also recommend mental health care activities at home or outside of therapy. On the other hand, non-directive counsellors take a step back and allow you to lead the sessions. You can set the agenda, and they help facilitate your exploration and self-discovery.
Additionally, you may also ask about the techniques they use. Some common approaches used in clinical counseling include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This method focuses on helping people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to their challenges.
- Interpersonal therapy: This is a form of therapy that focuses on an individual’s relationships and interactions with others.
- Humanistic therapy: This type of counseling focuses on enhancing self-esteem, personal growth, and self-actualization.
Most clinical counsellors offer a combination of several techniques to tailor their services to each client. In other words, there’s no right or wrong way; it all boils down to what works best for you and what you’re most comfortable with.
Compatibility and rapport
You might be able to find a clinical counsellor with all the right credentials and experience, but if you don’t click with them, it’ll be a fruitless endeavor. Why? This is because rapport and compatibility are critical to a successful therapeutic relationship. That’s why it’s crucial to find someone you mesh well with to make therapy sessions more productive and enjoyable. Otherwise, you won’t be able to open up and explore the root of your challenges.
Look for someone you feel comfortable talking to and who makes you feel at ease. It should also be someone you can trust and feel safe sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings with. If you don’t feel like your counsellor has your best interests at heart, it may be time to move on and find someone else. After all, it’s building rapport with your mental health counsellor that’ll help foster growth and healing.
Availability and accessibility
Being in therapy sessions requires time and commitment. You have to commit to attending regular sessions, typically weekly or biweekly, for, at least, several months. That’s why it’s vital to find a clinical counsellor with a schedule to accommodate your availability.
Some clinical counsellors offer evening and weekend sessions to accommodate those busy during regular work hours. Others may provide online counseling to make it more convenient and accessible for individuals living in remote areas or unable to leave their homes for various reasons.
Regardless of your schedule, make sure the counsellor you choose has a schedule that works for you. The key is to attend sessions consistently to make the most out of therapy.
Choosing the right clinical counsellor can do wonders in your healing journey. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can narrow down your options and find the best fit for you.
- “The difference between psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical counsellors” Source: https://bc-malesurvivors.com/the-difference-between-psychiatrists-psychologists-and-clinical-counsellors/#:~:text=Clinical%20counsellors%20focus%20on%20therapy,pillar%20for%20most%20clinical%20counsellor.
- “Why choose a Registered Clinical Counsellor?” Source: https://bcacc.ca/find-a-counsellor/how-to-choose/
- “Five Counseling Theories and Approaches” Source: https://counseling.northwestern.edu/blog/five-counseling-theories-and-approaches/
- “Building Rapport: An Essential Counseling Skill” Source: https://www.counselingschools.com/blog/how-to-build-rapport-with-clients