When embarking on counselling or psychotherapy it is important that you feel safe with your therapist and feel comfortable discussing your issues with her/him. Here is a quick guide on what to look for when choosing your therapist.
- Ensure your therapist is suitably trained, qualified and covered: all therapists should have achieved a minimum of a PGDip (or equivalent) in Counselling or Psychotherapy, and be a member of a professional body with a robust code of ethics. All therapists should carry professional indemnity insurance.
- Do your research: don’t be afraid to approach a few therapists and ask them some initial questions about the service they provide before you commit to making an appointment with anyone. Reputable therapists and businesses will offer you a free phone consultation to allow you to ask questions.
- Be aware of the types of therapy on offer: counsellors and psychotherapists specialise in a range of different therapies, each with their own distinct qualities. Read more about this in our ‘What is Counselling and Psychotherapy’ article.
- Ask yourself some basic questions during your first session with your therapist: Do you feel safe with this person? Do you feel comfortable discussing intimate details about your life with them? Are you comfortable with their manner and approach?
- Don’t give up: if for some reason it doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean it can’t. Have a free phone consultation with a couple of other therapists who practice in a different way, and ask yourself if it was the therapist or the timing that wasn’t right for you. Counselling and Psychotherapy will always be around, so if the time isn’t right now, that’s ok.
Written by Alison Barr and Jennifer McElroy