You've got some problems to sort through, maybe at home, or perhaps at work. Others suggest that you get counseling. You do need help, but the idea of a counselor bugs you. First of all, you don't want a stranger knowing your business. And you certainly don't want to see some burned out flower-child who's all huggy-touchy-feely, or a shrink type who'll dissect your brain and blame everything on your parents. But, most of all, you don't want some know-it-all telling you how to run your life.
An appropriate counselor would not fall into the above categories. A counselor's job in helping you sort through "problems of living" is to aid you in finding your own solutions to those problems. This involves listening, discussing feelings and alternatives, and sometimes, teaching a client skills.
How do you find that kind of counselor? Try this:
* Get names from reliable friends, trusted professionals, or even through the yellow pages.
* Interview several counselors by phone, asking about their counseling approaches, field of specialization, credentials and fees.
* Choose the one who is best qualified to meet your particular needs and with whom you think you will be most comfortable (try two or three if necessary).
And, remember, a counselor's job is not to be in charge of your life, it's to help you be.
Barbara Turk is a psychotherapist in private practice.