People look for counselors for many different reasons. Some have already seen a counselor and are simply looking to “tune-up” the work they have completed. Many have already seen a healthcare professional and received a diagnosis (such as anxiety, depression or ADHD) and are seeking counseling because their healthcare professional recommended it. Others may not yet have a name for their pain but can sense that something is wrong and wonder if a counselor can help.
Are you personally struggling and curious whether a counselor might be able to help? Are you concerned for a loved one’s wellbeing and looking into mental health resources in Rexburg? Are you trying to find a counselor in Rexburg because your son or daughter has recently moved to the area from another city or state? Whatever your reason for looking for a counselor, finding one in Rexburg offers unique challenges and opportunities.
Without question the number one challenge is finding one whose case load is not already full. Rexburg is a small community and the fact that BYU-Idaho is located here means that 12,000 to 18,000 additional temporary residents move in and out of the area each year. As a result there is often a strain on the community’s counseling resources. Many counselors and marriage family therapists in the area have wait lists. Another barrier you might encounter when looking for a counselor in this area is finding a counselor with the specialty you are looking for. The reason is that most counselors in rural areas have to be generalists, not specialists. If a counselor practices in an area with 20,000 residents and specializes in treating trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), they would have very few clients and eventually go out of business. Most counselors in rural areas are forced to branch out into treating issues more common in the community. Anyone who has lived in or visited Rexburg during the winter knows that the wind likes to blow, and that there is usually plenty of snow. This makes it green and beautiful in the summer but for those without a personal vehicle it can become a significant problem during the winter months. Finding a counselor close enough to walk to, a car to borrow, or identifying public transportation resources in the area can be a challenge for even for the most motivated psychotherapy client.
Before you can determine how to overcome these barriers, you or your loved one must understand what to look for in a good counselor. After you have found a counselor who meets your criteria then you can go to work overcoming some of the obstacles mentioned above. In our clinic it is common for us to tell new clients that finding a good counselor is kind of like dating. While it does happen, it is rare that the first person you go out with ends up being your one true love. You frequently have to date around before you find the right match. It is the same for counselors—you have to find the right fit—and this may mean “firing” a counselor or two until you find the right one. Whoever you are working with needs to be skilled and trained in helping you address whatever problems you wish to solve or change. Good psychotherapy should not just be a time of talking about your feelings (although there is plenty of that), it should be a time of coming to a better understanding of yourself and others, and gaining the skills needed to meet your goals and be well. If a counselor doesn’t have experience in treating a certain issue, it should make you pause and consider whether they are a fit for your situation. Another important consideration when choosing a counselor is finding one who will honor your healing beliefs while simultaneously maintaining your safety. Some people are adamant that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the only approach that will work for them; others might be firmly against using medications, while others are strongly in favor of them. Whatever your healing beliefs are, a good counselor will honor those beliefs and, when needed, respectfully note when your beliefs may inhibit your ability to meet your goals. On a more practical note, you should consider what forms of payment various counselors accept. Not all counselors in Rexburg accept insurance payments, and many do not accept Medicaid or Medicare. So it would be wise to first consider counselors who will accept payment that works for you. The probability of meeting your counseling goals significantly increases if you feel like your counselor authentically cares for you as an individual. Do not settle for a counselor who is anything other than kind, attentive, understanding, skilled and respectful to you as a person.
How to get in to see a counselor when everyone is full
The first thing to do is get on a wait-list. After you have done this, do not be silent. Call once a week to keep yourself on the top of their mind. While it is not always true, it is occasionally the case that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Do not be obnoxious—the office manager can help or hurt your cause—but by all means “squeak” and advocate for yourself. If you are a student at BYU-Idaho, you should get on the wait list at the BYU-I Counseling Center, as well. Although BYU-I’s services are free, they are brief so make sure to ask them if you can book an adequate number of sessions to meet your goals. If you are struggling with acute and chronic symptoms, we recommend engaging a counselor in the community so that they can continue to provide treatment as long as it is needed.
First, do not assume that all counselors are the same. While almost all counselors in Rexburg are “generalists” they are still people with unique gifts, favorite topics, talents and experiences that can be useful in addressing different issues. That’s why we recommend that you schedule free consults with counselors to learn more about them and how they might help. Avoid counselors who, for whatever reason, think they know everything—they don’t. No one does! A little bit of humility and compassion in a counselor can go a long way in helping people address issues of all stripes.
Transportation during the winter months is a unique challenge and depends on where you live, your financial and relational resources, and the location of your counselor. You can ask friends and family for help getting a ride to your appointment. If you are afraid that this may negatively affect you by risking your confidentiality (most people do not want others to know they are seeing a counselor) then this can be difficult. If you are part of a religious organization, speak to your priest or pastor about your transportation issues. You might also consider using a local shuttle like RPM.
Concerned what others might think of you if you go to counseling? Counseling is confidential—period. We are committed to maintaining your confidentiality. Remember that there is no shame in seeing a counselor. Some of the most courageous people in the area are those who walk through our doors with the desire to heal.
The outcome of counseling depends on the issues being addressed, how severe they are, how long they have been in play, your readiness to engage in the healing process, and the counselor’s skill in facilitating change. Because each situation is different we encourage you to schedule a free 15-minute consult with one of our counselors so you can meet them and get a better idea of how they might help. You can find a counselor in Rexburg who works for you.
Finding a counselor in Rexburg can be a difficult task during an already difficult time. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental, relational or emotional issues and you are considering counseling, we are happy to provide those services ourselves or refer you to someone who can help. We are not a fit for everyone and that is why we offer a free 15-minute consult to interested clients so they can determine if we meet the criteria mentioned above.
We invite you to call 208-357-3104 or contact us through this site to schedule a free consultation. We welcome patients from Rexburg, Ammon and Idaho Falls.