Mallory Welsh, LCSW

When feeling depressed, anxious, or struggling with your personal relationships, it can be very tricky to pick yourself up and to start to feel better. One way to move toward that goal of feeling better is initiating therapy.

If you’ve made the decision to start feeling better, congratulations! You are one step closer to feeling better! Initiating this big step in your life can be stressful as is, but picking the right counselor can also be overwhelming, especially since there are so many skilled clinicians in Chicago.

When picking the right counselor, it can be important to ask yourself some important questions. Keep in mind, a counselor is someone who is going to be with you while you share some very intimate moments of your life, so picking the one you think will help you feel the most comfortable is very important in the therapeutic process.

Below is a simple guide on how to pick a therapist in Chicago who is the best fit for you!

  • Male or Female? While both males and females are equally qualified, ask yourself if you have a personal preference. If you would feel more comfortable sharing intimate details with a certain gender, that is important to note.
  • In Network? When choosing the right counselor, it is also important to see if the counselor is in-network with your insurance plan. Symmetry Counseling has over 30 counselors and a variety of insurances they are in-network with (BCBS, Aetna, Cigna, and United Health Care, just to name a few).
  • Sliding Scale? If you come to realize the counselor you felt was an ideal fit is not in network with your insurance, perhaps inquire if they have a sliding scale. Symmetry Counseling starts at $140 out of pocket but can adjust the price down to $60 depending on the client’s income.
  • Phone Consultation? Most counselors allow for a free phone consultation. This could be a way for you to actually hear their voice and get to know them prior to the intake session. This is also an opportunity to ask the counselor anything you want to know about their clinical background and their treatment approaches.
  • Flexible Hours/Location. If you work “traditional” 9-5 hours, ask the counselor if they work evening hours or even on the weekends. Most counselors take into consideration that many of their clients work those hours and tend to have availability in the evenings and weekends. It is also important to pick a counselor who is either located close to work or your home which can certainly make it easier to attend your appointments. You can also maximize your search in Chicago by putting in the zip code of your home or work at PsychologyToday.com as well.
  • Intervention Styles. Doing some research and knowing about the different intervention styles, whether it is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Theory (which are both very common for anxiety/depression), can be helpful in choosing the right counselor.
  • Read their Biographies. Most counselors can be found on their company website or they could have a PsychologyToday.com profile that shows where they went to school, the intervention styles they use, and maybe even an interesting fact about them that separates them from other counselors. They may also write some blog posts, and reading those could provide you with insight into what kind of counselor they are.
  • Reflect. At the end of the day, it is your decision to choose a counselor you think is best for you. Counselors tend to be understanding if you think they are not a good fit for your therapeutic goals. Being honest with yourself as to which counselor you think will help you the best truly is what is most important.

If you are currently struggling with something in your life, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.