Picking the right therapist


…and welcome back to my blog.

So following on from my last post – and that the most important part to counselling is the therapeutic relationship – how do you go about picking the right therapist for you?

While simply thinking of going to counselling is a difficult but great first step, the idea of speaking to someone new can be intimidating. But not only that, where do you look for them and what criteria should you be looking out for?

It can be a minefield out there – I should know. It took time to find the right therapist for me, but I did. And, yes, I have been in therapy myself.

How can I expect my clients to come to therapy if I’ve never been to therapy and experienced working on myself?

Ask yourself – would you go see a therapist who has never been to therapy?

So first and foremost, it is essential to find a therapist that is right for you. It is the relationship that heals. So finding the right therapist is all about personal preference and what feels like a comfortable connection to you.

  1. Take your time

You may be experiencing difficult times during your search, and while picking the wrong therapist may not be a hindrance, it may also not be a help either.

So ‘trust the process’. The right therapist will come at the right time.

  1. Do your research

Do some research on some of the different forms of therapy out there. This way you can have a better idea of what you want but about what the counsellor is offering.

  1. Ask friends and family

Ask those friends and family who perhaps are in therapy, why do they like their therapist, this will help give you some pointers. You can also ask for a referral, however, just because your friend see’s Joe Blog’s counsellor, doesn’t mean they will also be right for you. Perhaps they could ask their counsellor to provide you with a referral list.

  1. Searching

There are numerous ways to search for a counsellor, from simply searching through google, to checking counselling directories or counselling accrediting bodies such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), to doctor’s referrals and word of mouth.

  1. What to take into account?

There are various things that you may wish to take into account and I won’t bore you with covering them all, but here’s a select few for you to consider:

Cost – this is dependent on the area you live in and can vary from counsellor to counsellor, ranging anywhere from £30 – £70 per session. Some may offer concessions. And even if you can’t see anything on their website, flyer etc… ask them, you won’t know for sure until you do.

Location – are they local to you? Consider timings and possible traffic issues.

Type of therapy  – now you have a better understanding of therapy, does what they offer match want you want?

Qualifications – do they stipulate what qualifications they hold? Do they mention taking part in continued professional development?

Accrediting bodies – are they a member of a recognised accrediting body, such as the BACP?

Experience – do they have any experience in the issue you are presenting with?

Consultation session – do they offer a free consultation?

  1. Speak to them

While you can gain lots of information from a website, or directory entry, you still may be unsure. So give them a call, ask them questions about practicalities such as:

  • availability
  • session length
  • appropriate insurance
  • cancellations
  • realistic time frame’s
  • how do you stop

Not only can this ease any concerns you may have, but it’s a great step in working out if you feel that you can work with this person.

  1. Don’t just go with the first person you see

Finally, go and meet 2 or 3 counsellors, if you can, in order to help you make your final decision.

I can’t say this enough, it’s all about finding the right therapist for you.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships


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