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Do I Need Counseling?

Do you find yourself saying…“Here I go again…
I’ve done it again…When will I learn?”

Or, do you have this gnawing feeling that you keep responding to situations in the same way, and that way is not working for you?  When you become aware of a pattern of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is keeping you from a sense of well-being, or is interfering with you achieving your personal or professional goals, then it is time to get some assistance or counseling.

Professional licensed counselors can assist you in identifying and changing patterns that no longer work.  In addition, they can assist in determining if there is a biochemical component to your problem that requires a medical assessment.

If you are uncertain about the benefits of seeing a counselor, call the Employee Assistance Program at 815-753-9191 to schedule an appointment. We can assist you in defining your difficulty, identifying resources in the community, and accessing your benefits. If you prefer to just access your benefits for counseling, read "What counselor is right for me?" (below) before seeing your primary care physician (HMO’s) or calling Magellan at 1-800-513-2611.

What counselor is right for me?

Before selecting a counselor, define for yourself what your problem is and what your needs are.  Think about how you have tried to solve your problem and what has worked and not worked.  Reflect on another time in your life when you had a problem and someone helped you.  What was this person’s personality like?  What did they do to help you?  This may help you determine what you need now.  If you are having difficulty with this, consider talking with someone in the Employee Assistance Program at 815-753-9191.

  • Ask for referrals from people you know, like, or are knowledgeable:   a friend, your clergy, family, or an Employee Assistance Professional.
  • Ask about the counselor’s specialty and practice orientation and consider how the counselor’s specialty or orientation is compatible with your problem situation.  The person giving you the referral may know or you may need to call the counselor’s office and ask.  Many counselors have websites.
  • Consider whether you or your family member(s) would relate better to a male or a female counselor.  Remember, initially men tend to relate better to men and women to women; however, this is only significant in the very beginning as you are getting to know your counselor.  This may be important when finding a counselor for someone who is very hesitant about going for counseling.
  • To receive maximum coverage from your benefits for counseling, the counselor you choose must be approved through your insurance carrier.   An Employee Assistance Professional may assist you in finding a counselor. In the initial meeting, most people do not feel comfortable.  

This is no different from meeting any new person for the first time.  Consider:

  • What did you like about the counselor and what didn’t you like?
  • Did you feel that the counselor might be able to help you even though you felt uncomfortable?
  • Did the counselor’s questions make you think about your situation in a new way?

What to do when you feel uncomfortable.

  • It is very important to tell your counselor how you feel.  Your counselor can handle this kind of directness.
  • Give yourself three appointments before you expect to feel comfortable and remember, sometimes it is not the counselor, but it is the topic that makes you feel uncomfortable.