How to Find the Right Counsellor For You: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself


Seeking professional support is a huge step for anyone. If you’ve looked for a counsellor before, you know how difficult it is to even book an appointment, let alone see the therapist. As challenging as this process can be though, counselling is a safe and constructive method for finding support as you go through any number of issues.

When you look for a therapist, the names, qualifications and therapy techniques can all get a bit confusing, and this can make it really difficult to find the best professional to help you. Often, you don’t really know if the counsellor is best suited to you until you meet them. Here are six questions to ask yourself that will show you if you’ve found the right therapist for you.

  1. Do I feel safe?

You should feel safe and secure when you see a counsellor. Ask yourself: do I feel relaxed in their presence? Do I feel judged or misunderstood by them? You can choose to see a therapist of a certain gender, speciality or background in order to achieve this, and can assess how secure you feel once you meet them.

  1. Do I feel understood?

You will mesh better with a counsellor who speaks like you, understands your colloquialisms, and frames their words in a way that makes sense. Don’t feel compelled to understand professional jargon, the best counsellor for you will understand how you tick, and will speak to you like an equal.

  1. Do I leave feeling empowered?

Counselling sessions can be challenging, and when you’ve discussed certain issues it makes sense that you will feel emotionally exhausted. However, a session should always leave you feeling empowered, like you’ve accomplished something, or have found the tools to achieve something new in your life. If you leave feeling belittled and dehumanised, they’re probably not the right counsellor for you.

  1. Do I feel pressure to come back?

Seeking professional help is a long-term process, and once you’ve found the right counsellor, you will establish a routine of how often and when you see them. That being said, if you feel as though the counsellor gives you no option but to come back, they are not helping you. A healthy professional relationship has open communication, and a good counsellor will give you the option of reassessing if and when you want to return in the first few sessions.

  1. Do I see a difference in my life?

It will take approximately six sessions to gather if you really connect with your counsellor. In that time, you should begin to see some changes in your behaviour and thought patterns. It is not a counsellor’s responsibility to ‘fix’ you, but to help you find the tools to experience change and wellness. If you are not seeing this development in your life, ask yourself: is the counsellor helping me, and am I completely participating in the process?

  1. Do they listen to me?

A good counsellor won’t tell you what to do. They may give advice, but their aim is to help you find answers yourself. If a counsellor talks more than they listen, if they seem uncomfortable in your silence, or if they put words in your mouth without your feedback, they may not be the right one for you.

Do you need a safe place to discuss your wellbeing? Would you like to see a counsellor? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

6 Tips On What To Do When Your Partner Has Stopped Taking Their Medication But Refuses To Acknowledge That They Are Becoming Unwell.

As a partner of someone who has been dependent upon medication for good mental health, it can be challenging if not ‘scary', to be a witness to their choice to withdraw from that same medication. This is more so the case when your partner has come to this decision without consulting their professional health practitioner . You have  experienced the ‘roller-coaster' ride of their declining mental health; your partner's unpredictable behaviour, the accompanying decline of their physical health, the negative impact on their employment, the additional pressure upon your couple relationship and the negative impact upon other family members. You are  familiar with the feeling of relief  when your partner's mental health has improved, due at least in part, to the introduction of a particular medication.

All of these memories come flooding back as you observe your partner's withdrawal from the very medication that had once been ‘the Hero' of the situation. The doubt, uncertainty and helplessness you feel is reinforced by the small but undeniable signs you observe, of your partner's deteriorating mental health. Your partner's denial of such symptoms I_love_green_blossom____by_captivatedimagesfurther exacerbates  your anxiety, effectively positioning you as caretaker in your relationship.

Here are 6 tips on what to do when your partner has stopped taking their medication but refuses to acknowledge that they are becoming unwell.

1. Assess their level of suicidality

Often people do not disclose that they are experiencing thoughts of suicidality unless they are asked directly. If your partner admits to having such thoughts, it is important that they talk to a health professional about what they are experiencing. If your partner has a trusted health professional, a doctor, counsellor, or psychiatrist, encourage them to check in with that professional. Remind your partner that talking  to their health professional does not mean they have to go back on the medication (though that may be an outcome) but is in itself a therapeutic intervention to cope with what they are experiencing.
 If your partner acknowledges that they are having thoughts of suicide, check out the following:
– do they have a plan as to how they would suicide?
– do they have the means at their disposal?
– have they made other suicide attempts?
– has someone close to them suicided?
– are they at risk to themselves or others?
If they answer ‘yes' to at least 2 of these questions, it is important that they see a health professional as soon as possible.

2.  Calmly share your concerns and invite them to talk about their own concerns

Often when an individual goes off their medication without consulting their health practitioner, they are unlikely to notice the minor changes to their thoughts and behaviour. Talking to them about your concerns and encouraging your partner to become more familiar with, and able to acknowledge the consequences of being unwell may serve to raise their level of awareness. Some of the consequences might include their unavailability to your children or being unable to work. Write these down as future reference. (If your partner remains in denial, be kind and gentle and encourage them to remain open to the conversation)

3. Make a ‘contract' with your partner

Make a written Contract or agreement with your partner to identify the point at which they agree to take personal responsibility to seek out their health professional.
This conversation would include:
  • early warning symptoms that your partner might experience ( as point above)
  • identifying the point at which these symptoms are no longer tolerable for themselves and/or for others.

 4. Encourage your partner to use self care strategies 

Learning to put into practice those activities that soothe and calm a person is one of the keys to maintaining good mental health. When considering what soothes your partner, encourage them to explore with all 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Finding something small that they can carry with them so that they can access at any time (e.g. a grandmother's scented handkerchief) is a  great way to self soothe when needed.

5. Be encouraging

It is very easy to project your anxiety and /or frustration upon your partner. This can have the affect of your partner developing negative mental health symptoms that might otherwise fail to emerge.
For instance, when your anxiety tells you that your partner is undoubtedly going to regress rapidly, failing to get out of bed on time one morning because they are feeling tired, can be misinterpreted  by you as a sign that they are becoming depressed again. This may or may not be the case. The important thing to note is that by anticipating the worst scenario, your partner is more likely to ‘collude' by accepting your statement rather than acknowledging other possibilities (eg. ‘I just feel tired this morning'; ‘I didn't sleep well and need a catch up'; ‘self-care for me includes the occasional sleep in')

6. Deal with your own anxiety

If you have followed all these suggestions and remain anxious, seek out a professional counsellor to talk about your own concerns.

If you would like to know more about how to support someone experiencing mental health issues or need personal support in coping with a partner with mental health issues  contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to to book an appointment.

I think my partner is depressed. How do I get my partner to go and see a therapist?

I_love_purple_flowers____by_captivatedimagesI think my partner is depressed. How do I get my partner to go and see a therapist?


This is a question I am frequently asked, be it concern for a spouse, a parent, a son or daughter or even a friend. You can see that they need to talk to a counsellor about what they are experiencing however try as you might, all your attempts to get them there are met with resistance.

Here are some strategies that, used appropriately, may encourage your partner  to see a counsellor:

1. Do not nag or give ultimatums that you have no intention of carrying out. It may sometimes work however generally these tactics build resentment and resistance deeming it unlikely that your partner will be willing to fully participate in counselling.

2. If you haven't already, go to a counsellor yourself. The benefits include

  • getting to know the counsellor and their style.
  •  ‘walking the talk' i.e. your partner will be more open to counselling if they know you have been prepared to ‘try it'.
  •  having a personal opportunity to talk to a counsellor about the concerns you have for your partner. Often we fail to recognise how our own anxiety for the other can exacerbate the problem.
  •  making personal changes is the most powerful testimony that counselling works!

3. If you are linked in with a counsellor, pass on their details to your partner for them to read when they choose to. If the counsellor has a website and/or blog, give your partner the website address and allow them to check it out at their disgression. Often a partner might prefer to go to a different counsellor to yourself. If that is the case, encourage them to do so. You could ask your counsellor for a recommendation.

As a counsellor, in discussion with my own clients, I have actioned some strategies that have been met with success. You may choose to talk to your counsellor about these strategies:

4. The counsellor may write a letter inviting the partner to a shared session suggesting that their knowledge and input would be helpful or alternatively to contact the counsellor for a free 10 minute consultation about what to expect from counselling. This may be hand delivered by you or sent by post.

5. The counsellor might send a ‘thinking of you card' with an appropriate message. In my own experience as a counsellor, this has met with considerable success because it has the effect of reducing the feeling of isolation for your partner and communicates to them the message of care and concern.

Ultimately, it is important to be patient and loving as you encourage your  partner to try counselling. A person's readiness for counselling always plays a significant part in the effectiveness of counselling, so allow your partner to come to their own decision. For yourself, practice patient and kindness as you gently encourage your  partner and be sure to go to a counsellor yourself to deal with the inevitable feelings of anxiety you hold in the meantime. Please let me know on the comments below the effectiveness or otherwise of these strategies. I look forward to hearing from you.

If you would like to know more about how to support someone experiencing depression or need personal support in coping with depression or any other mental health issue contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to to book an appointment.