Making the decision to have some therapy sessions is a big deal. It means you've reached a point where you want more out of life. You may be fed up having the same challenging experiences in relationships. with your confidence, or in your working life and you know you deserve better.
So first of all - well done!
But before you leap in, it’s a good idea to consider the following points to help you make a wise decision about choosing your therapist.
When you’ve read through, if you feel that you’d like to get in contact for a free consultation with me, just click on the link below the post.
Have You Checked Their Credentials?
Therapists are generally highly qualified and experienced practitioners. They should have their training, experience and qualifications clearly visible on their website.
Also, look out for an ‘about me’ page, or something similar, where you can find out a little about their professional background and what led to them doing the work they do.
Most therapists will agree that their work is something they love and are called to do - a vocation. Discovering what led them to their practice gives you an opportunity to get to know them better so that you will feel if they are a right fit for you.
They should also be having regular clinical supervision. This is a very important ethical guideline.
A supervisor is someone who is trained to oversee the work of other practitioners, make sure they are staying within ethical guidelines, help them avoid pitfalls and keep their clients emotionally safe.
Some countries see supervision as a voluntary requirement. Others are mandatory: for example, in the UK your counsellor or therapist must be receiving monthly supervision if they wish to practice professionally.
It's always a good idea to ask if your practitioner is undertaking regular supervision
Do They Specialise?
Think about the specific issue you need help with and make sure that the therapist specialises in that particular area.
The more experienced the therapist, the more likely they’ll have reached a stage of specialising in just a few areas. It's much better to find a therapist who specialises in a few things, than someone who offers help for a whole host of different issues.
Do They Have Reviews?
Look for their reviews online or on their website. Sometimes these aren’t obvious - but don't be shy about asking the therapist to point you in the direction of where reviews can be found.
How Does The Therapist Respond To Your Enquiry?
A good therapist wants to make sure that they’re the right therapist for you. When you first contact them, how do they respond? Do they accept you immediately as a client without question, or do they ask you to provide some details first?
In What other ways are they helping people?
Highly experienced therapists may well have extended their practice into other ways of helping people.
This is not a given for all therapists, but many these days have written self-help books, trained other therapists, been a regular guest on podcasts, have a blog with helpful advice, run courses and workshops etc.
This doesn't necessarily mean that they're the right fit for you. It's important that you meet for a consultation first to make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Do They Offer A Free Consultation?
Many therapists offer a free initial consultation. It's an opportunity for you to get to know them, and feel more at ease.
It's also an opportunity for the therapist to make sure that they’re the right person to help you or to refer you to someone who is more a match.
Don’t feel bad if they refer you to a colleague, it’s because they want you to get the very best help, and as experts, they’ll likely have colleagues who are also experts in their field.
So make sure the therapist is willing to offer you a free consultation.
What Practical Tools And Skills Can They Teach You?
A good therapist will offer you tools and techniques to help you put what you learn in therapy into practice in your own time. These could be a range of things such as anxiety-reducing techniques or communication skills which you then have for life.
What Resources Can They Offer You?
A good therapist will have a range of resources to offer you to complement your progress in sessions. These could be guides and worksheets, suggested reading materials, videos and audios.
Have You Weighed Up The Costs?
It's often the case that the higher the therapist’s fee, the more experienced and specialist they are - though do check this.
Bear in mind that their advanced level of expertise will often mean they can help you in a shorter period of time, than someone who charges less but has less experience.
Don’t be shy to ask them how long they think it will take to overcome the issue that is troubling you. Everyone is different and sometimes new issues emerge in the course of therapy, but they should be willing to have an open discussion with you about this before therapy starts so that you have a clearer understanding of what to expect.
What Is Their Therapy Philosophy?
Every therapist is different. Some will help you with an issue, then say goodbye.
For others, like myself, therapy isn't just about overcoming problems; it’s also about helping people continue to learn and evolve into wiser beings. This is why I offer ongoing resources.
Many of my clients will work through an issue in their initial sessions, and then on seeing the great benefits of personal development they’ll continue having a session every one or two months. In this way, they can check in and discuss what’s currently happening in their life. This is hugely beneficial as we already have a relationship - I’m aware of their history and patterns. and I can highlight how these may be applying to a current situation and set them back on a good path.
If you’re interested in having some sessions, you’d probably like to get to know me first 🙂 That’s why I offer a free 30-minute consultation.