Counselors in Atlanta | Eric Groh LPC | How Do I Choose?

Finding counselors in Atlanta.

Step by step guide for choosing counselors in Atlanta. I have worked in Atlanta for 25 years, am acquainted with many counselors, psychologists, and social workers. Please don’t hesitate to call if I am unable to meet your needs and I will identify a few prospective therapists who can help.

Step 1- Determine Client Type

1) Geriatric. Elderly persons particularly those dealing with death and dying or illness.2) Adult. Approximately 18 or older.3) Adolescents. Approximately age 13-18.4) Children. Infancy to age 12 or 13.5) Couple or family.

These are all highly specialized areas of work. When you contact a counselor or psychologist ask these questions:1) Rather than asking do they work with children, ask what % of their work is with children. The same applies for all of the other above mentioned specialties. At least 30-50% of their work should be in that specialty.2) Ask them to briefly describe their credentialing or training.

Step 2- Understand what makes these specialties different.

Children have different therapy goals than adults, teens and so on. Roughly speaking though not hard and fast, elderly persons’ focus will be on coping with aging. Adults will be growth-oriented. Change oriented. Are more likely to choose longer-term therapy because of those factors. Adolescents can be divided into two groups. Those who are under 18 will have unique legal issues-custody, confidentiality rights and so on. Individuals between 18 and roughly 22 in many cases cope similarly to adolescents. Both groups tend to externalize the source of their struggles. They may have difficulty understanding they are the cause of their struggles. Goals for both will be more focused on behavior change. Children have not developed all verbal skills. Therapy that is highly verbal or “talk” is often inappropriate. The goals of therapy will often be promoting behavior change through the therapist working with the parent. To teach the parent different ways of interacting with their child. Couples and Families require directive and highly interactive approaches. Of these, adult individual therapy often results in the most deep and enduring growth and change. Change the individual wants to carry through their life. Changing relationship patterns, and other personal/ professional advancement. (Counselors in Atlanta can differ than other geographical areas, but this topic is beyond the scope of this article.)

Step 3- Identify the primary problem for which you are seeking help.

Sometimes this can be difficult. It may be difficult to know. Maybe only that you feel depressed. Suggestions for further identifying your struggles include:

1) What happened during the prior week? Why do you want help now? Maybe you had an argument with a family member. Did they ask you to get help with a specific problem? Maybe you experienced an outburst or were more irritable. Maybe you were suddenly more anxious and afraid. Felt dizzy, short of breath. Tightness in your chest or fear of dying. Think back on the past 6-12 months. Have you experienced family death? Job loss? these are only examples. You may be fully aware of your needs because of prior experience with a therapist.

2)Did you receive a startling report or phone call from your child’s teacher?3)Did you learn of ill health or terminal illness of an elder family member?

Step 4 – Begin placing phone calls

An appropriate conversation may be something like this:

“Hi, I’m John. I am looking for a counselor or social worker for my 10 year old son. I received a call from the school psychologist reporting he made threats to another student. It appears these problems began about two weeks ago when his father moved out of state. I would like to schedule an appointment. Please tell me about your experience working with children? What percentage of your practice is child therapy?”


“I’m John. I have seen a therapist previously for help with my drinking and my father’s alcohol abuse when I was a child. The therapy was helpful. I want to resume with another therapist. Can you tell me about your experience with addiction and childhood trauma? Do you work mostly with adults?” (In fact here is an excellent short book for Adult Children of Alcoholics.)

If you are satisfied with the outcome of your conversation, consider making an appointment with them. Again these are guidelines, but nonetheless an excellent starting point for finding the right therapist.

Free counselors in Atlanta and State of Georgia Mental Health Facilities. Some centers while not free, offer free walk-in evaluations.


Georgia Crisis and Access Line: 1 800 715-4225 ( Police: 911 (ask for a CIT (Crisis Intervention Trained) officer)United Way: 211 ( National Help Line: 1 800 950-6264 (NAMI) (Mon.-Fri. 10-6) www.nami.orgPeer Support “Warm Line”: 1 888 945-1414 consumer-directed 24/7

Cobb/Douglas Crisis Stabilization Program5400 S. Cobb DriveSmyrna, GA 30080404 794-4857 /

DeKalb CSB – DeKalb Regional Crisis Center450 Winn WayDecatur, GA 30030404 892-4646 /


Ridgeview Institute – 770-434-4567Emory University Hospital Psychiatry – 404 686-6222 – www.emoryhealthcare.orgEmory Child & Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP) – Regional State Hospital/Atlanta – 404 243-2100Anchor Hospital 770-991-6044 serves adolescents & adultsVA Medical Center (Decatur) veterans will be transported to GradyWesley Woods Hospital Psychiatric Unit (geriatric) 404 728-6222Peachford Hospital (Dunwoody) 770-455-3200

Atlanta EMDR Therapist

Atlanta EMDR Therapist

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a atlanta-emdr-therapisttherapy that accelerates the resolution of traumatic events and flashbacks. I usually experience a good success rate with clients for whom it is appropriate. Wiki EMDR is an excellent source of information and describes the process clearly and simply.


Does Counseling Help PTSD

…we often learn of tragedies and this can trigger PTSD. For example, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings created a trauma that spiraled here through Atlanta GA and throughout the nation with Manhatten as it’s epicenter.

Does Counseling Help PTSD

Does counseling help PTSD and it’s related symptoms? Indeed it does. Counseling is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. It is one of few mental disorders that can develop even in the absence of genetics or family history. PTSD is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

What is PTSD?

1) Experienced a horrific or terrifying event. In the aftermath:
2) Easily Startled.
3) Hypervigilance.
4) Nightmares or flashbacks.

How Do I Know If I Suffer With PTSD

You will only know for sure through assessment by a mental health professional. Many of the symptoms can be part of a different diagnosis. Still, there are ways of determining whether you need to rule out a diagnosis of PTSD.

Examples of Horrific and Terrifying Events

There are three categories of horrific events:

1) Victim of the Event
2) Witnessing the Event
3) Second Hand Knowledge of the Event

Victims are rape survivors, near death experiences such as auto accidents and natural disasters, surviving a terminal illness, surviving child abuse, combat survivors and other. Notice all are first hand experiences. Also impacting are events that are witnessed such as death or assault. Finally, does-counseling-help-ptsd-atlantawe often learn of tragedies and this can trigger PTSD. For example, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings created a trauma that spiraled here to Atlanta GA and throughout the nation with Manhatten at it’s epicenter. I have treating individuals with PTSD in my Atlanta practice who formerly worked in the WTC towers.

Easily Startled

This symptom occurs more frequently with survivors of assault. Loud noises, being approached from behind- these are common triggers for a startle reaction.


Hypervigilance is defined as a state of being overly watchful of one’s surroundings. Sometimes even to the point of exhaustion. Again, hypervigilance is most frequently observed with assault survivors. In the case of automobile accidents, hypervigilance usually only occurs while driving a car.

Nightmares and Flashbacks

Sometimes the traumatic event is relived or can replay like a video in one’s mind. This can be a disorienting experience. Sometimes nightmares of the event can be so vivid the individual awakens needing to orient themselves to their surroundings.


A diagnosis of PTSD must be made by a professional. The symptoms need to be considered together as they could be related to a different diagnosis such as depression. If you are concerned about anxiety related to PTSD, you may call me to schedule or make an instant appointment through my web scheduler.