The decision to try life coaching or therapy/counseling can be easy. For example, you may struggle in your relationships, see negative patterns, realize you may need to set some boundaries and feel afraid to follow through, need support for taking charge of your life, or realize you don’t take care of yourself very well. You know you want to grow as a person and it’s time!
However, finding the right professional is another story. How will you choose?
How will you know if you will be a good fit with the professional you do choose? How do you know which professional has the knowledge to best help you? Where do you even begin to find a professional in your area?
The first thing you need you to know is that the relationship between the professional and the client is a “power relationship,” meaning you are going to be in a position in which you must trust in the knowledge and guidance of the professional. You are reaching out to a professional who has expertise in several areas of life, and it’s presumed they are there to help you. Most professionals I know decided to pursue this career because they desire to help people and are very caring and competent!
However, as in any profession, we have our bad apples. Because of the knowledge and power that professionals have acquired through graduate training, they possess the power to be helpful or harmful to the client.
That’s why it’s important to “interview” the professionals that you decide are well suited to help you. I tell my friends, my family, and my clients, “You are the customer looking for a service, and you get to interview the professionals to make sure you get what you are looking for.”
Most professionals I know are willing to give you 10+ minutes to interview them.
Make a list of questions about what you are seeking help with and ask those questions of the three or four professionals that you have decided you like based on their websites or recommendations from others. Two really good professional search websites are PsychologyToday.com and GoodTherapy.org, and there are several others.
Use the filters they provide to find a professional that will have expertise in the areas for which you are seeking help. Read their individual websites and see if you like what they have to say and if a few resonate with you, decide to call and interview them!
Cindy Jesse, LISW is a Therapist, Life Coach, wife, mother and owner of Cindy Jesse Life Coaching and Therapy, located in Hyde Park and Blue Ash in Cincinnati. For more information, please visit www.cindyjesse.com or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.