In school you learn a LOT about people, brains, thoughts, research, sympathy, empathy… not to mention all the things other people did wrong. What they don’t tell you is how to help your clients find you. I’m not exactly the most techno-savvy person on the planet, or probably even on my street. I’d be quite happy living in the really old stereotype where the wise woman lives in a little cottage at the edge of the village and everyone knows that’s where she is, everyone comes to see her when they need a shoulder to cry on or advice or someone to talk to in confidence. At least, I think I would. The benefits of indoor plumbing are pretty big.
But like it or not, it’s not the world we’re in. I’m one of hundreds, if not thousands, of counselors in my area. There is no central directory, either. Yes, we all have to be licensed – but here that can be licensed as a registered counselor, licensed counselor (two different experience levels), licensed clinical social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, and clergy. Most of us do our best to be listed in data bases we think might get the word out – and there are a LOT. I’m currently listed on Thumbtack, on Facebook, on Linked In, on several websites for specific needs, and I’ll probably be listed on many more throughout my career. You might not be looking on any of those sites. If you are, you still might not find me. It’s complicated.
So how do we find each other? How do I, a counselor, manage to meet a client? How does a client needing specific things from their counselor find the right counselor? If you guessed that a lot of it is kind of hit or miss, you’re right. I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to find the kind of person you need, when you need them. What I CAN do is let you know that I’m here, you can contact me if I might be the right counselor for you. You can contact me if you think I’m not, but maybe I can suggest someone who’s a better fit? Yes, I’ll do that. Other counselors will, too. We don’t all know each other, either, but we know some others. Call the people you find, ask them if they know someone who accepts your insurance, or is trained to work with teenagers, or knows about coping with rape, or understands your religion.
I’ll do my part,, and you do yours, and maybe we can meet in the middle.