When trying to find the right counsellor to suit you, they need to be a good fit for your personality and problems. At the same time, you need to feel safe and secure with them so look for those that have professional qualifications and accreditations.
If you are not sure where to begin and you are already consulting with your doctor, ask if they can refer you; very often they are aware of counsellors in your location who can help and may even be able to make a referral.
Alternatively, you may decide to find a counsellor yourself. If you decide to opt for this choice, here are a few useful tips to help:
Finding a list of counsellors in your area
If you are not sure where to start, go to the website of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) which should be able to provide you with a full directory listing both therapists and counsellors. If you prefer, you can telephone, asking them to post a list to you instead. The UK Council for Psychotherapy will also have counsellors in your area registered on their site. In addition, your local library or CAB may also be able to help.
How much will counselling cost?
This will vary, depending upon whether it is organised via your GP and the NHS or a support group. If you opt to see a professional counsellor or therapist privately, their fees can vary on an hourly basis so always feel free to ask what they charge before booking a session. Many counsellors will also show fees and charges on their personal websites.
What to look for when seeking a counsellor
Once you have a shortlist of possible counsellors in mind, here are some of the things that you should look for:
- Do they offer a one-off first appointment to discuss your issues and if so, what is the cost? This will allow you to see if they are a good fit for you and if not, you can always change.
- Are they professionally qualified? Not all counsellors are so always look for one that has completed their full training.
- Do they have plenty of experience in dealing with your particular problem? This will ensure that they have a good understanding of how you are feeling.
Professional counsellors should also keep their training up-to-date with ongoing professional development and are very often accredited, working to a set code of practice. If they do have accreditation, ask which professional body they are registered with. This will vary but could be: The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the UK Association for Humanistic Practitioners (UKAHPP) or even the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
If you would like help finding a suitable counsellor in your area, fill in the section on our website and we will provide you with all the details that you need. You can then select one that seems to fit with your requirements and give them a call or message them to find out further information.