anxiety and stress management calgary

How to find the Right Counselor for Me

Living Well Calgary

Certification, experience, and specialization are the three basic criteria for choosing your counselor. The show should have the patience and persistence to listen to your core problems. Proper understanding will lead to accurate analysis. Then she will know the causes of problems based on the diagnosed symptoms. It is easy to give you the right solutions. How will you find whether she has the capacity to deliver the results?

Online Search – Basic Parameters


 It is a good practice to choose a counselor of your gender if you feel there could be emotional or other entanglements with the opposite gender. Otherwise, you can choose any gender as l.omg as that person can strike the right wavelength with your thinking. The purpose is to synchronize your communications.


Choose your domain before starting the search. Is it related to relationship and marriage, mental health, substance abuse, education, or others? Then you can focus your search on a specific domain. You may have unmanageability of life and relationships as your core problem. Then you need to search for a general counselor who can handle such issues.


Start the search from a location that is close to your home. You may need to travel frequently for the counseling sessions. You don’t want to go all the way from your home to the neighboring city. Face-to-Face (F2F) counseling and online counseling are the two options you have. F2F works better if your problem is in a critical condition.


How will you evaluate your counselor? If she has a website, you can get the relevant information about her certification, experience, and specialization. Read through the services/counseling page. If it sounds too commercial or unbelievable, you can drop it and move onto the next site.


A counseling website presents the facts about various types of psychological and relationship problems.  The counselor’s focus will be on giving you the right suggestions. She will have a worksheet to analyze your life-story, family-history, lifestyle, relationships, and existing problems. If the website speaks about the probable solutions, you can consider that counselor as a potential option. Add her to your list.

Similarly, you can add two or three more counselors to your list. Make sure the list is limited to five or six. Listing more numbers could lead to confusion.

Social Media

Read the testimonials about the counselors from a location other than her website. You could choose the social media sites. You could also join the discussion groups or forums to post questions. The existing customers can reply to your queries. It is one way of evaluation.


Talk to your friends who might have taken counseling in the recent past. Get to know about their experience in healing. Have they been able to solve their problems? How often they go to counseling now? Have they been able to overcome the unmanageability syndrome in life? How is their relationship status after counseling?

The questions you ask your friends or the contacts on social media should be specific and focused. Then you can get to know about the experience and specialization of the counselor.

 Probable Questions to Ask

·         Is the counselor friendly?

·         Does she listen patiently and prepare notes?

·         Does she try to identify the root causes?

·         Can she talk openly if the problem is within me?

·         Is she experienced in the behavioral analysis?

·         Does she observe body language during counseling?

·         Does she suggest or advise?

·         Does she speak about addictions?

·         Does she suggest changes within the self?

·         does she have experience in relationship counseling?

These are only some of the basic probable questions you may ask in the social media or forums. The idea is to evaluate how effective she could be to your specific needs. List out the answers in brief and compare.

Then your listing may reduce to two or three potential counselors. It is time to take the next step of action.

Initial Listing

Make a realistic list of your problems. They could be related to emotions, feelings, fear, phobia, notions, opinions, etc. list out the people, situations, and conditions which (you think) could be responsible for the present condition. Make the list exhaustive by writing down all the points that you can think. Then you can prioritize them as critical, major and minor according to your opinion.

First Meeting

F2F meeting with the counselor is the best way of evaluation. Go with an open mind without any preconceived notions. That means you should be neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the outcome.

Explain your problems in brief. Observe how she is listening and making notes. Explain your fear and phobia factors. Take your time and be descriptive. Then listen to her without interfering.

How do you feel after the first meeting? Do you see any probable solutions to your problems? How did the counselor answer your questions? Was she honest to point out any defects in your own thinking and behavior? Did she avoid blaming any individual for the problems? Did she explain the solutions in the practical way rather than a prejudiced approach?

If your answer is yes to three or more questions, the probability of getting the solution from that counselor is more. Otherwise, you may have to consult the other counselors in your list until you get the satisfaction of meeting the right specialist.

Cost Evaluation

 What are the costs involved in counseling? She may charge you a fee for every counseling session. If she is also a therapist, she may suggest treatments and medications overcome the physical and mental ailments. List the costing and compare with the others in your list. You can also consult your friends and consider their opinion.

It is a good practice to avoid cheap counseling from the inexperienced counselors. It is a waste of time and money, since you may not get any solutions. The certified and experienced specialist may charge you more fee compared to the novices. But you can explore all the possibilities of getting the desired results within a reasonably short time.