For people who are known for their listening skills, counsellors can sometimes talk a lot! We tend to be passionate about good mental health and want to share information – especially on our websites!
If you are considering counselling and simply want to know the basics about what I offer, why not check out my FAQs section here. It will tell you how much I charge, where I’m based and what I can offer.
However, taking the first step in finding a counsellor can feel daunting so I have listed a few options to help you find a counsellor in your area and suggested some things to consider as you make your choice.
Firstly, there are a number of ways to look for a counsellor:
- Word of mouth is often a good place to start, so have you got a friend, relative or colleague who has had counselling and found it beneficial? Could they give you their therapist’s contact details?
- You could ask your GP to recommend a counsellor or see if the surgery has any leaflets regarding counselling for specific issues such as bereavement, domestic violence or addiction. Some charities will offer counselling at reduced fees.
- Or you could google ‘The Counselling Directory’ which only lists qualified counsellors. You can narrow the search to your locality, concern or the type of therapy you’d like.
Some other factors to consider when choosing a counsellor include:
- The cost of the sessions. Therapy works best when it happens on a regular basis over a period of time. Some counsellors may ask you to commit to at least 6 sessions so be prepared to make an investment in your mental wellbeing.
- The location of the therapy room. Is it accessible if you have limited mobility? Can you park easily, or walk there? Is the room in a suitable location or will you spend too long travelling to appointments? If you value your privacy, is the location private enough, or will everyone know exactly why you are there?
- Can the counsellor offer appointments at a time convenient for you? Be honest about your commitments but also be prepared to be flexible. Good counsellors will be busy. However, it may simply be that they do not work on the day or at the time that best suits you, so you may need start your search again.
- Do you like the counsellor? Having spoken to them on the phone or met them in person, are they allowing you the opportunity to say, ‘No, thanks’? It is vital that you feel you can trust your counsellor and that you feel supported by them.
- Do you like the style of therapy being offered? Some therapists specialise in one approach, such as Person Centred, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Others may have a Integrative approach and be able to work in a way that best suits your issue or personality type.
Finally, it can be helpful to understand what you are paying for. Qualified experienced counsellors will charge for their services, just as a hairdresser, masseuse or beautician would. Remember that if want to receive excellent therapeutic care you will need to select a counsellor who:
- has trained for a number of years and updates their training each year
- is insured
- is a member of a professional body
- is registered with the ICO and is committed to keeping your information confidential
- provides a space for you to meet in
- may employ an accountant
- will pay for regular supervision to ensure the service they provide is professional, ethical and meets legal requirements.
I hope that that helps. I also hope that if you have come to the decision to have counselling, you get the support you need, but if you are struggling to find suitable therapy, do visit your GP and let them know.