Finding a Counselor in Colorado Springs, CO

I Think I May Want Counseling, But I Don't Know How To Begin...

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How do I find the right counselor?  Where do you begin the search?  Counseling is an investment into yourself, your family, your relationships, and you’re future, here are some pointers for looking for the help that fits you and your life.

Finding the counselor:                                                                    

  1. Ask for recommendations from your friends, colleagues, doctor, etc.
  2. Do a google search
  3. Search a psychotherapy directory such as psychologytoday.com, or goodtherapy.org, or openpathcollective.org (this last one is a registry of therapists that have signed up to offer low-cost services.)
  4. Check your insurance company for a list of local providers that accept your insurance.

How do I pay for counseling?

Well, that depends. Some insurances have decent behavioral health coverage, other insurances have no behavioral health coverage at all, others have very high deductibles that would be tough to meet.  So, before you shop, know what your policy is so you know the cost of using it or not.  Here are some things to know while you begin screening through counselors if you are using insurance:

  1. Who is your insurer?
  2. What is the co-pay and the deductible for counseling.
  3. If your counselor provides you with a superbill, will the insurance company reimburse you?What do they require?
  4. Can you use “out-of-network” providers? (This is an option that may open up a lot more options for you and not cost much more.)

Other Considerations about Insurance:

Some people have concerns about their insurance (or Employee Assistant Program) sharing or leaking personal information to their employer. I am not qualified to speak to this. I think in the end, it boils down to feeling comfortable and safe, if you have reservations about using your insurance and privacy, then it is likely worth it to opt not to use it.

How Long Does Counseling Take?

A typical arrangement would be for a client to have weekly appointments.  This isn’t always the case, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that is what you will be doing.  Also, you can expect to have a several appointments (perhaps as few as three or four, or maybe as many as 12 or 20).  Again, for the sake of this discussion, let’s think about 10 appointments.  Things to consider are:

  1. Schedule counseling to minimize stress. Try to make a weekly meeting, same day, same time, this is so much less stressful than hopscotching through your weeks or trying to book appointments by the seat of your pants.
  2. Remember to account for any commute time. A one-hour session that is a three-hour round-trip might be tough and stressful after a couple of weeks.
  3. This is health care, so using a sick hour or other time off is entirely appropriate, schedule the time, plan for it, commit to it.
  4. Think twice about scheduling on your day off –it’s tempting to want to do counseling on Saturday, but you don’t want counseling keeping you from family time, trips, or keep you from recreating. Saturday may be right for you…but think about it.

Things to look for:

  1. A counselor should return your call within the period of time their voice recording indicates.
  2. Your counselor should offer you a free consultation (which is usually just a phone conversation) before booking any intake appointments.
  3. If you have any concerns about professional conduct, standing, or complaints, you can check the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) at Colorado.gov.

What Else?

Read the profiles, look for a connection. Find a few names and make the calls/send the emails – do it all at once.  Give yourself some options so you can consider all of the aspects, the connection to the therapist, finances/ insurance, and logistics.  Most counselors I think will agree that connection (between you and your counselor) is critical, counseling is all about relationship after all.  That said, don’t underestimate the importance of figuring schedule, financial concerns, and logistics into your choice.  Effective counseling, is the kind of counseling you are able to sustain for at least several weeks.

Online Counseling

Online counseling is a great option for many folks, no more concerns about commute time. Online (telemental health) can save the day if your schedule is sometimes disrupted (staying home with sick kids for instance), if you are traveling, if you don’t have reliable transportation…you get the picture.  Online counseling isn’t necessarily for everybody, but many people are surprised that they feel very comfortable and feel that they get more out of it than face to face contact.

If you would like to call me for a telephone consultation, you can reach me at (719) 551-5283, I typically return phone calls the same day, if I receive it in the late afternoon, I’ll call the following day.

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Self-Help For Depression That No-Kidding Works

Self-Help for Depression

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Attitude plays a role on how depression plays out. Some people accept these mood changes and easily discuss, “being in a funk” or “having a blue period.”  Other people are less accepting. Self-judgement can be pretty counter-productive for the person already in a depressed mood.  If you are depressed, be gentle with yourself, but there are things you can do that will make it better.

Depression is very treatable.  Therapy, exercise and nutrition are all powerful medicine used to treat depression, especially if used together.  If pharmaceutical treatments are employed – their efficacy is greatly enhanced when used in concert with the non-pharmaceutical treatments below including counseling.

  • Get some sunshine

Roll up your sleeves, take off you sunglasses and soak in some sun.  Don’t do that thing where you say, if 15 minutes is great 3 hours will be AWESOME!  No.  Just 15 minutes or so, ideally before 10 am or after 3 pm to avoid the most intense UV.

  • Get some exercise

Go out for a walk, ideally outside, but wherever you can is better than nothing.  If you are athletic and want to really workout, then by all means DO IT.  Depression can leave the dedicated athlete with no motivation, so don’t tell yourself that it won’t work unless your at 80% of VO2 max.  I don’t know what any of that means, so apologies if it is nonsense.  A 15-30 minute walk is sufficient, the trick is to get it done.  Keep your expectations for yourself reasonable and set yourself up for success.

  • Think about nutrition

Have you lost your appetite?  Are you eating anything that is not nailed down?  Nutrition is key to mental health, but without getting to fancy, use your sense. Eat balanced meals, eat your fruit and vegetables, get nutrient dense calories.  Get plenty of healthy fat.

  • Get connected

Pick up the phone.  Volunteer.  Accept invitations.  Commit to do at least one socially engaged thing per week.  Do not wait to you feel like doing it, just do it.

  • Sleep

Depression can cause both sleeplessness and too much sleeping.  Try to avoid these extremes, use sleep hygiene techniques to promote sleep and try not to indulge the urge to remain sleeping beyond what is normal for you.

  • Call for help. There is no one answer for everyone. Talking to a trained therapist can help you understand yourself, your experience, and discover the methods that work for you.

This website does not constitute specific psychotherapeutic advice. Click to read disclaimer and Terms of Use of this Website.

Susan at (719)551-5283 for your free 15 consultation to see if depression counseling in Colorado Springs is right for you.