Updated: Jun 2
Looking for a counsellor can be a daunting experience. There are so many out there with each one offering a different style of working. How do you know which one will be right the one for you? When you find one, what should you be aware of?
Before You Make Contact
The type of counselling you choose will be influence by why you want counselling and what you hope to gain from it. If you are looking for help with past experiences and how they affect you in the present then psychodynamic or integrative counselling may be suitable. If you would rather learn ways to cope with difficult symptoms then maybe a task driven therapy such as CBT would work better. The different types of counselling and their benefits will be covered in a future blog.
Counselling can be an ongoing process so it is important to have a realistic budget in mind. Most therapists will offer weekly sessions and some are able to offer discounted rates for those on a lower income. Some local organisations or charities will be able to charge discounted fees.
Where to Look
A good place to start is by searching the online directories of the professional bodies in the UK. The main ones are:
The above bodies verify their members, check they have appropriate training and practice safely and ethically.
The First Meeting
When you have arranged an appointment with a therapist, there are a few things to be aware of during and after the session:
- Do you feel at ease and comfortable by the end of the session?
- Do you feel accepted, listened to and understood?
- Do you feel they are not judging you?
- Can you ask questions?
- Do they listen to your hopes and expectations?
- Do you know what you can expect from working with them?
- How do you feel? / What is your gut telling you?
It is OK to look around for a therapist. You might be able to tell right away if you will both be a good fit but if not, carry on searching. It really is worth spending some time finding the right one. The results can be life changing when you do.