You’ve taken the first step and decided to start counseling sessions. Now what? Choosing the right therapist or counselor may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Your mental health is important. Finding the person that is a good fit for your needs is also important. To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of the things to consider during your therapy search.

Choose Your Type of Therapy

Marriage counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, and psychoanalytic therapy are common types of therapy. However, many other types of therapy exist and serve different purposes. Choose the type that will work best for your current needs, and look for people within that specialty.

Identify Your Goals

What do you want to get out of counseling? What are your current needs, and how do you want to address them? For example, low self esteem, explosive anger, grief, addiction, depression, and anxiety are some of the most common reasons for seeking therapy. Identify why you are looking for help, and create goals you’d like to achieve. (Don’t worry if you don’t have specific goals going into your first session – we can help you talk through the best things to focus on!)

Talk to Your Doctor

Doctors are a valuable resource when choosing a therapist. They most likely know your medical history and behaviors best and can recommend someone they think will be a good fit. They may also be able to look at your network and recommend someone covered by your insurance plan.

Ask for References

Friends and family can also be helpful in providing references. No two people have the exact same experience, but a recommendation from someone you trust to help get you started. Listen to their likes and dislikes regarding the sessions, but keep an open mind about creating your own experiences.

Do Your Research

Your choice of therapist or counselor is ultimately up to you. Do your research on professionals in your area and take a look at their credentials. Read through website bios or reviews for a better insight into their working style. At Cornerstone, our staff has years of experience working with people on a variety of needs and goals. We’ve summarized a list of our professionals that could be the right fit for you:

Misty Bliven, MSED, LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Misty earned her degree in Elementary Education and Masters in Counseling from Quincy University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Misty was employed at Blessing Hospital for over 16 years, She left her work as an Inpatient Crisis Intervention Therapist on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services Unit to pursue a career in outpatient counseling. Most of her focus has been with Children and Teens, but she is looking forward to assisting clients of any age with discovering their strengths to deal with issues that life throws at all of us. Misty wants the sessions to be client directed and the environment to feel comfortable, safe, and nonjudgmental.

Nakita Hughes, MA, LCPC, LMFT – Therapist

Nakita is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She enjoys working with clients from all ages and stages of life and has specialized training working with couples and families, as well as trauma and attachment issues. Nakita believes that all clients possess the solutions to their problems, as well as the strengths needed to solve them. Sometimes people just need a little help in uncovering them. Nakita works hard to honor each client’s unique experience and to provide a safe, caring, and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Trina Vogel, MSW, LCSW – Therapist

Trina is a Licensed Social Worker in Illinois. She attended University of Illinois in Springfield earning a Bachelors degree in Social Work. She took a break from her studies to work in the Illinois Child Welfare System addressing the complex needs of parents, caregivers and children. Then she furthered her education by earning a Master degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois in Champaign with a focus on Children, Youth and Family Services. Trina also has specialized training in Play Therapy, Child and Adolescent Trauma, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy.

Lindsey Wood, MS, LCPC, LMFT – Therapist

Lindsey Wood sees clients from all walks of life who face diverse challenges, especially those with family issues. A Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Marriage and Family Therapist, Lindsey attended Taylor University in Indiana where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology. At John Brown University in Arkansas, Lindsey received her Masters in Counseling and worked in the department as a Graduate Assistant. She believes that by working closely with her clients, their unique strengths can be discovered and lead to the right solution.

Steven Spears, LPC, NCC – Licensed Professional Counselor

Steven is a Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC) in Illinois and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Steven graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and Northwestern University with a Master’s degree in clinical counseling. During his time at Northwestern University, Steven worked with children and adolescents, families, and couples. His training in trauma and how it impacts children and adults’ lives is a key area of focus. Steven has worked with children in many different settings, including schools, homes, juvenile detention, and office settings. The goal of every session is to ensure the client is being heard and understood.

It’s okay if the person you choose the first time doesn’t work out. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find someone you can connect with. Take your time, ask questions, and make sure you feel comfortable enough to really benefit from counseling.

Interested in choosing Cornerstone? Schedule an online appointment or give us a call at (217) 222-8254 today.