General questions



  • What should I expect from therapy?

    You should expect one or a series of confidential appointments of up to an hour in length in a suitable professional setting.

    The process should also provide you with the opportunity to:

    • make sense of your individual circumstances
    • have contact with a therapist who will help identify the choices for change
    • feel supported during the process of change
    • reach a point where you are better equipped to cope with the future

  • Is counselling and psychotherapy confidential?

    Everything you discuss is confidential between you and the counsellor or psychotherapist. There can be certain legal exceptions and the practitioner should clarify this with you prior to the establishment of any agreed contract for working.

    You may have specific queries about confidentiality depending on the format of the therapy. For example, with online counselling, you may wish to ask the following questions to your therapist:

    • Are the notes from therapy protected by passwords and encrypted?
    • Are printouts held in a secure cabinet?
    • What happens when there are technical problems?

  • Should my therapist carry liability insurance?

    Professional liability insurance is not currently a legal requirement. However, a number of professional associations, including the BACP, strongly recommend that therapists take out appropriate insurance coverage.

    Examples of insurance policies which a therapist might have are professional indemnity, public and products liability, libel and slander to name a few. It is suggested that you check your therapist has appropriate and adequate insurance in place before engaging their services. If you are unsure then you should consult an insurance professional or a legal expert for further guidance.

    The insurance is not only intended to protect the therapist but offer peace of mind that if something should go wrong, there are funds in place to compensate you in such an event.

    For further information you may find the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website useful.

    Author: Towergate Professional Risks

  • Will I get hooked on therapy?

    The goal of any talking treatment is your increased self-awareness, skill acquisition and independence. During therapy, you may develop some feelings of reliance upon the therapist. Although a normal reaction it can, at times, feel worrying, but a professional therapist knows exactly how to handle these feelings and will genuinely be interested in helping you make progress.

  • How can I get counselling or psychotherapy for a family member or friend?

    Usually this isn’t possible. A person cannot be ’sent’ for counselling or psychotherapy. They must wish to use the service and make the approach themselves. By all means, find out the names of therapists on their behalf but do encourage a direct approach by the person who needs the help if at all possible.

  • What is supervision?

    All BACP therapists need to be in supervision which is a form of consultative support and must therefore discuss their work with at least one other person. However, a supervisor is also bound by rules of confidentiality so in practice there should be no likelihood of any breach of trust.

  • Where can I find out more?

    What is therapy? provides more detailed information about certain aspects of therapy.

    However, if you are unable to find the information that you’re looking for, please contact BACP with your query on 01455 883300.

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