In The News

13 Mar 2010

Stress: how to find the right therapist


If your stress levels are so high that you can’t see your way ahead, and camomile tea and warm baths aren’t helping, you may want to seek professional help. But you could easily feel overwhelmed by the choice of counselling available. Would you benefit from Gestalt? Or are you more the cognitive behavioural type? There are hundreds of therapies out there, but the style of therapy is not what is important — it’s finding the right therapist that matters.

“Research shows that therapies are all about 73 to 74 per cent successful, so the style of therapy is less important than the quality of the therapist,” says Phillip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). “But you need to choose them with enormous care.”

So where do you start? Before choosing a therapist, it’s worth knowing that the terms “counsellor” and “therapist” are often interchangeable. Traditionally, people offering short-term help to patients or clients — especially in the voluntary sector — tended to call themselves counsellors, while those who had trained on a psychotherapy course would call themselves psychotherapists. But these days a lot of psychotherapists refer to themselves as counsellors, in the belief that the term is less intimidating.

“The goals are the same — you’re trying to effect change in the person’s life, to help them to experience feelings they’re afraid of and to manage them, and to put into perspective some of the losses they may have experienced,” Hodson says.

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The Times


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