Finding the right counsellor for you is not always a quick process, but it is well worth the time and effort. The better the relationship is between you and your therapist, the more effective the counselling is likely to be. I thought it would be useful to give you a few pointers to help you on your way.
Four steps to finding the right counsellor for you
Work out what is important for you in a counsellor
It’s useful to work out what you are hoping to gain from counselling and what would be important for you. For example, would you prefer a younger or older counsellor or someone who is an expert in the area you want to discuss (i.e. addiction). Do you need disabled access or parking nearby?
Searching for local counsellors
Check they are members of a professional counselling body. There are a few different professional bodies for counsellors and psychotherapists, notably the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy), UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy), NCS (National Counselling Society) and BABCP (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies). Each of these organisations will ensure their members are suitably qualified to provide counselling services and will have directories of their members. You can search by area to find qualified providers near you and find out if they meet your requirements.
You may find one counsellor you really like or maybe you can’t choose between a couple. Any good counsellor will be happy to talk to you about your unique needs and some will offer free phone or online consultations so you get a feeling for each person and what they offer. This should give you a good sense about whether you think you can talk openly with this person. The relationship between the counsellor and you is key to successful therapy so see if you think you could trust this person and that they are offering you a safe and welcoming environment.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind
Even after all this process, you may be unsure that your counsellor is right for you. Never be afraid to discuss this with them because they will want to ensure you have a good relationship with them. If you really feel you can’t work with that counsellor, you have the power to leave at any time. After all, you are in complete control of your own counselling.
Good luck and I hope you found this useful!
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I’ll try again tomorrow.”
– Mary Ann Radmacher