How to Choose a Therapist

It can be really daunting trying to choose a therapist. First, you’re getting over the challenge of deciding whether you really need to see one – and there is no rule about how “bad” or “deserving” you have to be.  Maybe you just need a couple of sessions to talk something over. Maybe you need more. Some people don’t really know until they arrive in the therapist’s room.

Whichever it is, it’s a difficult decision.  You may be with this person for some weeks.  You might be telling them things you’ve kept to yourself, and you might be talking about some really difficult things, so it’s important you feel comfortable.

How to choose?

Some people follow a recommendation from a friend or someone they know.   This is fine, but bear in mind, what may feel right for one person may not feel right for you.  One of the most common places to look for a therapist is online.

Many BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) registered counsellors are listed with the Counselling Directory: https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk as this is one of the most popular places to find a therapist.  The BACP also has its own listing of BACP registered therapists: https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists. The other main registering accrediting body in the  is the UK Council for Psychotherapy which also has a listing of therapists: https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist/.

There are other listings, but I would advise anyone looking for a therapist to start with one of these. The counselling and psychotherapy profession is becoming more regulated, and these listings make sure that its members are properly professionally trained (by accredited postgraduate training), and registered. A BACP or UKCP registered therapist ensures that they are actually professionally qualified, meet regulated standards, and are up to date with professional development in their professional area.

Other than this, read therapist profiles, look at the photos, and go with your gut feeling. Good luck!

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