Finding the right therapist
- Where can I find a therapist?
- Is there a counsellor or psychotherapist for my situation?
- What should I ask when I contact a counsellor or psychotherapist for the first time?
- How can I be sure a counsellor or psychotherapist is qualified?
- How can I find a counsellor or psychotherapist who speaks my language?
- What if I am deaf or hard of hearing?
- What if I am not happy with the counsellor or psychotherapist when we meet?
Where can I find a therapist?
Is there a counsellor or psychotherapist for my situation?
Therapists practise in all walks of life and all parts of society, helping people in a range of settings, from NHS clinics to the business workplaces. Therapists are trained to deal with a diverse range of situations including helping people to cope with: anxiety and bereavement, relationship difficulties, educational dilemmas, sexual and racial issues, child abuse and trauma, as well as personal problem solving.
What should I ask when I contact a counsellor or psychotherapist for the first time?
Ask about the time, place, cost and duration of meetings plus any charges for cancelled appointments and holidays. You may also wish to enquire about the counsellor or psychotherapist’s professional membership, experience and training. During this time you will build up an idea of what is involved and you will be able to decide if this is a person you can work with. It is important to be clear about what you want and what the practitioner is able to offer.
How can I be sure a counsellor or psychotherapist is qualified?
BACP recommends that therapists should have undertaken a minimum of 400-450 hours college-based therapy training. Ask your therapist for details of their qualifications and to explain what they mean.
It is also good practice for a therapist to be a member of a professional body such as:
All BACP members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, which sets the standards for good and ethical therapeutic practice.
- The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
- The British Psychoanalytical Council
- The British Psychological Society
Check with your therapist that they are a member of a professional body.
If you’re unsure about a therapist’s qualifications, you can also contact their professional body in order to verify these.
How can I find a counsellor or psychotherapist who speaks my language?
Some practitioners are multi-lingual. If you would prefer to communicate in a language other than English then do ask your therapist if this is possible, or use Find a Therapist to search for a therapist with your preferred language.
What if I am deaf or hard of hearing?
You can contact BACP via its minicom service on 01455 550307 for assistance in trying to locate accessible practitioners or services.
What if I am not happy with the counsellor or psychotherapist when we meet?
During the initial assessment or first session be prepared to trust your instinct because your relationship with the therapist is at the heart of the process. If you are unsure about the therapist, seek another one. Having confidence in your therapist is very important and will enable you to get the best out of the process. Always remember it is you who is the customer. If no therapist seems suitable, it may be time to consider whether you would like to proceed or not.