Yellow Pages? Oh No.

How to choose the right therapist for you?


There is no fool-proof method of selecting the right psychotherapist, any more than there is a guaranteed way to select the right solicitor, doctor, accountant, or plumber. Major sources for finding a reputable psychotherapist might be: physicians, family or friends, the workplace, the Yellow Pages, Web search engines, and lists from professional associations such as NCS, UKCP, BPS or BACP.

Recommendations

Although doctors can refer you to a counsellor or psychotherapist, in the UK they are likely to refer you internally within the PCT. There can be no guarantee that the recommended therapist will be suitable for you. Personality factors, particular problems or differing ideologies may interfere with rapport. The same is true for referrals by family or friends, even though it's tempting to believe that just because your relative or friend recommends someone, you will be able to relate to them in just the same way. This often fails.

Reputation

Above all, do not be misled by reputation alone. A great reputation in the therapy field is not always based on competence. Sometimes it is fed by publicity and by professional colleagues who have a personal liking for a particular therapist, especially if he or she devotes a lot of time to their organisation's interests. Their colleagues may be impressed by that therapist's speeches, self-confidence and self-promotion. But do they personally know any successfully treated clients? Make your own assessment and trust it. Trust your reaction when talking with a psychotherapist. Shop around. Spend at least as much time to select a therapist as you would to choose a car, actually, probably more.

Testimonials

Although a good criterion is satisfied clients, sadly, the UKCP and other similarly reputable member organisations do not permit testimonials, in the same way a GP will not be able to show you testimonials. This makes it difficult for you to find a reputable therapist. If a therapist is a member of NCS, BACP, UKCP or BPS, you can be certain they are adequately trained. By all means contact their organisation to make sure they are in good standing and a current full member.

Comfort

And be sure you feel comfortable with the therapist. This is VITAL! If you feel uneasy, it may be a sign that he or she is not good for you; not a "bad" therapist, it's more about chemistry. An ethical therapist will offer you the time, space and courtesy of not having to decide in his office, whether you want to work with him. What's the rush anyway?

Questions to Ask

A suitable therapist will most likely be comfortable giving you time so you can determine;

Does he seem interested in my problems?
Do I feel welcome?
Is he punctual?
Do I feel accepted?
Does he treat me with respect?
Does he appear hopeful?
Does he ask a lot about me?
Is he genuinely interested in me?
Does his office/work place feel safe?
Does he really listen?
Does he seem knowledgeable?

You can also ask:

What experience do you have with my kind of issue?
What are your professional qualifications?
How long have you been in practice?
What psychotherapy associations do you belong to?
What are your fees?
May I bring someone with me?

Experience, Respect & Individual Therapy

Experience is a good criterion. Experience both of life and of psychotherapy. To ask the therapist questions relevant to his experience is a sensible thing.

Respectful therapists do not speak in a condescending manner. They treat you with the importance you deserve. After all, their business depends on you, and others like you, who seek a better life. Lack of respect also applies to improper questions, suggestions or behaviour. Impropriety applies to money and morals. In a truly therapeutic relationship you are heard, accepted, understood and guided to strengthen your inner resources. The therapist is your ally. Not your friend. Not your business partner. Not your guru.

Psychotherapy should be tailored to you, the individual. No two problems, and certainly no two people, however similar, are identical. Settle for nothing less than a personalised approach. Remember, to find the right psychotherapist for yourself, first do your homework about credentials and experience and then -- trust your instincts.

It might turn out that I am not the right therapist for you, however unlikely. If that is the case, I will endeavour to help you find someone with whom you are more likely to relate.


Easy Access for Loughborough and from Leicester, Nottingham & Derby

If you are looking to find a psychotherapist, counsellor or hypnotherapist to help with the resolution of a presenting issue, or you find my approach in some area speaks to you in some way, or simply wish to talk to someone without any commitment, then please contact me here in Loughborough. You can discuss anything in complete confidentiality without judgement or criticism in a totally safe environment.

Access is easy from The North side of Leicester, the South Side of Nottingham, including West Bridgford and the South side of Derby. There is plenty of easy parking outside of or close to the office which is located near to Loughborough town centre.

You can find my contact details here. Alternatively, you can just call me on 07595 880250, or email me using the form on this page.