Whether it’s your first time seeking counseling services or you’re a longtime counseling veteran, finding a new therapist can feel like a daunting task. If you’re trying to sort through different counselors in Naperville, here are a few tips that can help make sense of your search.
When looking through different counselors in Naperville, you may notice that their credentials are not all the same. LCSW, LSW, LPC, LCPC, PsyD, PhD, LMFT, and the list goes on. What do these terms mean, and how will they impact your experience with the counselor? The good news is that no matter the degree, all of these mental health providers have ample training and experience to walk you through the concerns that are bringing you in.
The main difference between these credentials is the type of education that the counselor received – either a master’s degree or a doctorate. Licensed professional counselors (LPCs), licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) all have master’s degrees in a counseling field and are licensed to provide treatment in their state. Clinicians with a doctorate – referred to as psychologists – will either have a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology) or a PsyD (Doctor of Clinical Psychology).
While psychologists have extra years of schooling, both psychologists and master’s level therapists will complete 2,000-3,000 hours of supervised practice before becoming a licensed counselor or a licensed psychologist. If a counselor is still working toward becoming a licensed practitioner, they have already completed the necessary training and will continue to consult with a supervision group until they receive the required number of supervised hours. Regardless of the degree or training type, you can rest assured that the counselor you choose has plenty of experience.
If you plan to use insurance for your counseling sessions, you’ll want to make sure that the therapist you choose can accept your insurance type. Remember, just because the clinic or practice accepts a certain type of insurance does not mean that every counselor in the practice can accept that insurance as well. Related to the discussion above, sometimes the credentials of the counselor can dictate the insurances that they accept. If a counselor is still working toward licensure, oftentimes they will not be able to accept insurance, or they are very limited.
However, you don’t have to limit yourself based on your insurance coverage or lack thereof. If your plan doesn’t cover mental health services, if you want to see a counselor who does not accept your insurance, or if you do not have insurance at all, you still have options. You can seek counseling services as a “private pay” client, meaning that you will pay out of pocket for your sessions. Some counselors may even offer discounted rates for private pay clients, depending on financial need.
Finally, you’ll want to look for counselors in Naperville who can meet your treatment needs. Most therapists have profiles online where you can learn about their treatment specialties, counseling techniques, and client demographics. Some therapists only see individuals for counseling sessions, while others work with couples or even entire families. In addition, some counselors work with a specific age demographic, so you’ll want to check whether the therapist works with children, adolescents, and/or adults. Most importantly, you’ll want to know that the counselor has experience working with your particular concern. Many counselors will list their specialties in online profiles, so you can determine whether or not they may be a good fit. Some common specialties include:
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Sexuality Issues
- Parenting Concerns
- Anger and Aggression
- Trauma and Abuse
- Marriage Concerns
- Family Dynamics
- Mid-Life Issues
If you find a counselor that you think could be a good fit, but you aren’t sure whether they have worked with your particular concern, it never hurts to reach out ahead of time. Even if that therapist turns out not to be a good fit, they most likely know of other counselors in the community who would be.
Finding the Best Counselors in Naperville
At LifeStance Health, we have counselors in both North Naperville and South Naperville, as well as Lisle and Plainfield. Our caring team of therapists offers diverse skillsets and specialties, allowing you to find the individualized support that you need. If you would like help finding the best counselor in Naperville to fit your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (630) 428-7890 or send us a message.