Why is it so hard to find a counselor? After weeks of looking, you’re starting to think Maybe it’s best to just quit. You’re faced with multiple barriers you hadn’t even considered that leave you with thoughts like, Wait, how much does counseling cost? You don’t take my insurance? How long until I can start? What do you mean you don’t specialize in this?
This article reviews some of the top reasons finding a counselor can be so hard and 3 solutions to help.
“Sorry, we don’t take your insurance.” Contrary to popular belief, not every counselor takes your insurance- or any insurance at all. Private pay rates for counseling services can range anywhere between $80-$150 per session. If you are looking for a counselor who specifically takes your insurance, start with your insurance company. Call the “member services line” on the back of your insurance card, it is usually a 1–888 or 1-800 phone number. Ask for help to find a “mental health or behavioral health counselor.” Put your insurance to work. Ask for a list of counselors in your area who take your insurance and begin calling from there.
“Sorry, we aren’t taking new clients and won’t have availability until 3 months from now.” Believe it or not, counseling is in high demand. Some counseling agencies don’t have availability until weeks or months out. Consider the problem you are facing, can this issue wait for weeks or months? The typical answer is no, it cannot. Don’t postpone receiving support simply because that counselor is unavailable. Keep calling other places, keep looking around. With virtual services available, consider calling other cities in your area. This could widen the availability for clinical counseling services.
“Sorry, we don’t treat that issue here.” Some counselors do not specialize in the issue you are needing counseling services for. For example, if you are needing marriage counseling, not all counselors treat couples. If you need counseling for your seven-year-old child, not all counselors are trained to treat this age group. Based on the problem you need help with, take a look around for a counselor who specializes in this issue. When you call different places, let this be the first question you ask- Do any of your counselors offer couples counseling? When searching online, search specifically for “marriage counseling” rather than just “counseling.”
Overall, finding a counselor can be difficult. But please, don’t take this as some sort of weird sign from the world that you should NOT get help. The previously mentioned are minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things. Your healing is on the line and you deserve this. Don’t let obstacles deter your opportunity for a better future.