6 Ways to find a good mental health counselor

Sep 27, 2015 at 9:07 p.m. ET
Image: Tetra Images/Getty Images

I'm am a published author who has struggled with fear and anxiety for over 20 years. During the course of my struggles, I realized how difficult it was to find a mental health counselor who could help me overcome my fears and anxieties. It took a lot of work, but I didn’t give up. I now have a great counselor whom I can talk to regularly.

Here are six approaches I successfully used to find a mental health counselor who helped me with my problems.

1. Talk to your primary care physician

Your doctor is a great way to find a good counselor. Explain your concerns to your doctor, and he or she can steer you to the right help.

2. Go to your local hospital

A hospital is also a good source for finding different mental health programs in your area. Hospitals know a lot of good counselors and programs in your area, and they can lead you in the right direction.

3. Ask your friends and relatives

Ask your social network to see if any of them know of a good counselor in your area. This can be very effective, as long as it doesn't bother you that other people know you're looking for help. Many of your friends deal with anxiety, too, so you are not alone.

4. Join a support group

Many churches and nonprofit groups offer community support groups. Ask around. Talk to the members of the group, and see who they recommend you should talk to in your search for a counselor.

5. Look for quality

Always seek out someone who has a good reputation. Remember that finding the right counselor depends on how you interact with each other. It may take a couple of tries to find the right person, but don't give up. Finding someone you work well with will pay off for you in the long run, so be persistent in finding the right person for you.

6. Know what you're looking for

The key things to seek are affordability, the ability to talk effectively together, and (most important) your counselor's ability to find the answers to your problems. If you do not see any improvement in your mental health after a couple of months of working with your current counselor, you may want to find someone else.

There is all kinds of help out there for your mental health issues, but it does take some work to find a counselor that is right for you.Stay persistent in getting help for your anxieties and fears.