The Right Fit: 10 Questions to Ask a Counselor

Ron Gengler, Chief Clnical Officer

As a counselor in Yakima for 23 years, I get calls from folks asking who I think would be a good counselor for them. I learned a long time ago to only give the names of counselors I would trust with my own children.  There are counselors that make me a little nervous, but I will never tell someone not to see them, it is just bad karma.  I will give folks that call me a list of questions they can ask a counselor to see if they are the right fit for them.

As a person looking for counseling, you need to remember you are employing them/us to help you. Now this does not mean you can demand a certain form of therapy from someone who is not trained in that therapy or the agency does not offer.  It does mean that your counselor needs to tell you the type of therapies they are trained in and what to expect. Hopefully the counselor will not be offended, if they are, time to keep looking.

Here are the 10 questions:

  1. What type of therapy do you offer? What is it called? Tell me how the therapy works, and about the main components of the therapy.
  2. How do you decide what type of therapy is best for a particular problem?
  3. Do you use standardized measures or questionnaires as part of your clinical assessment?
  4. In what evidence-based treatments have you had training?
  5. Do you receive clinical supervision or consultation for the evidence-based therapy that you do?
  6. Where can I learn more about the therapy? (websites or other resources)
  7. What will be expected of me for the treatment to work the best?
  8. How long does it typically last?
  9. How do you monitor if the treatment is working?
  10. How do you decide when the treatment has worked or has been successful or when it may need to be changed because there is not enough progress?

The list of questions comes from the Washington State CBT+ project, Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress and the University of Washington.

At Comprehensive you can be assured we know the answers to these questions, and will work with you!

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