Choosing A Counsellor

Having made the decision that you want counselling you will then want to find a professional that meets your individual needs. With this in mind here are some questions to ask yourself and prospective therapists.

Can you identify specific areas with which you require assistance? There are many facets of life that present challenges and therapists will have their specialisms just like any other professional.

Who would you feel most comfortable with? Therapists are individuals and needless to say their approach will be influenced by their gender, character and training.

What type of therapy would you feel most comfortable with? Counselling can be delivered in a number of different methods. No one method is necessarily better than another. These  methods have been developed to meet the needs of different problems and the therapist will often choose which to use depending on the circumstances. Therefore, it is important to get an appreciation of the process of which you will be a part.

How broad is the therapists training? Therapy is a journey of personal discovery and your therapist is only a guide. Sometimes the way forward becomes difficult and so it may be beneficial for the therapist to have the option of applying different therapeutic methods.

Does the therapist subscribe to an ethical code? Quite possibly the reason why you are seeking therapy includes very personal information. Therefore, you need to be confident that this information is safeguarded by a professional code of conduct.

Does the therapist belong to a professional body? There are many recognised professional counselling bodies eg. the BACP or the UKCP in the UK and being an accredited member of one of these. These set the training guidelines and the code of ethics and practice of therapists.

Has the therapist undergone personal therapy themselves and do they keep their professional practice up-to-date through continued professional development? This may seem an odd question but after all therapists are human beings too and subject to influence. In order to better help their clients they must be aware of what it is like to undergo the therapeutic process, as well as to understand themselves and their own biases and prejudices. It is important that they keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date and relevant with contemporary research.

Useful Resources