That’s a good question – how to find a counsellor! So you think you might benefit from some sessions of counselling. You might be struggling with a relationship, have issues around self-confidence at work or perhaps something happened to you in the past and you feel that it might be impacting on your life – maybe holding you back.
Counselling really can help with a range of issues and taking the decision to find a counsellor is the first step on the road to resolution. BUT how do you find a counsellor? What should you look for? How do you find the right counsellor for you?
Where to look
You can start with a good old Google search using terms such as ‘counselling’ or ‘talking therapy’. I’ve just done this for ‘counselling Leeds’ and it came up with 3.1 million results. There are literally millions of counsellors out there. Needless to say, not all of them will have a relevant qualification or even experience in talking therapies.
You really need to narrow your search down a bit and make sure you are searching among qualified professionals.
Some professional directories ensure all of the counsellors listed have a relevant qualification. The directories listed below wont list a counsellor unless they have seen their qualification, so it gives you some peace of mind.
- British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherpists – BACP ( https://www.bacp.co.uk) is a professional body that counsellors can join if they have a relevant qualification from a recognised training provider. Counsellors have to pay to join BACP and they have to undertake a certain number of hours of continuing professional development each year. BACP also makes sure that it’s members work within a code of ethics. This is important as you will no doubt be telling your counsellor some things that you want to remain confidential.
- Psychology Today ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/counselling/england ) – this is a directory that counsellors can pay to join. Psychology Today does run checks to make sure counsellors have relevant qualifications but they do not insist that their members have continuing professional development. They are simply a directory.
- Counselling Directory ( https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk ) – like Psychology today counsellors can pay to have their details listed on this directory. Those listed will have been verified as qualified counsellors but again there is no requirement for members to undertake CPD.
Word of Mouth
If you have a friend or colleague who you know has had counselling ask if they would recommend the counsellor that they saw. Then look that counsellor up on the directories to check that they are suitably qualified and experienced.
Individual or Organisation?
A lot of counsellors work alone, either using a room at home or working in a rented room. This is fine as long as you have checked the counsellor’s credentials and the location works for you.
There are advantages to seeing a counsellor in an organisation though. The organisation should be able to vouch for the counsellor. For example, here at Phoenix we check that our counsellors are qualified, members of professional body’s, Police checked and have professional indemnity insurance. We know that you can trust our counsellors and we know that they are keeping their learning up to date with regular CPD.
What do the professionals say?
I asked two of our counselling team how they would go about choosing a counsellor. Here’s what they said:
- Bev Woodhead
“I would look at BACP and look at the counsellor’s pictures. I’d be looking for a face that’s kind and warm, not overly professional. It doesn’t matter whether or not the person has similar life experience to you what matters is that in the first session they make you feel comfortable”
- Alison Gilbert
“You have to find an organisation that feels right for you, and a counsellor that feels right for you. All I can say is that when I first came to Phoenix I was nervous. I have vulnerabilities too just like any other person. But as soon as I came in I felt comfortable and safe. It’s a very welcoming place. That’s why I have worked here for so long.”
Watch our recent video to hear more from Alison on how to choose a counsellor here
If you would like to know more about counselling at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing click here.
If you want to visit our professional body – the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists click here
Phoenix Health & Wellbeing is a Charity. By coming to us for a treatment you can relax in the knowledge that you are helping others less fortunate than yourself. We use the proceeds of your treatment to subsidise those who would not otherwise be able to access our therapies due to cost. Roughly £4 to every £10 spent with us will go to help others.
For information on our charitable work follow this link / call us on 0113 234 0181
Monday to Thursday from 10:00 to 20:00
Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00