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How to choose the right counsellor for you

Okay... you've made the decision that you'd like to give counselling a try. If your GP is referring you, you may not have a choice about who you see, but what if you choose to go private, how do you choose the right counsellor for you? As you're looking at this website I guess you're already searching for someone suitable but how did you get here? Recommendation from a friend, family member, colleague? Did you google it? I bet you've looked at many sites, counsellor profiles or directories but how do you choose? Where do you start? What should you consider?

How do I find the right counsellor for me? Look for the counsellor's training, qualifications and experience and whether they belong to a professional body. That way you know you will be working with a counsellor who will provide you with a safe, ethical, competent service. Do you need help with a particular issue or are you looking for a certain type of therapy? If so is the counsellor trained in that specific area? It is also worth considering the counsellor's location, available sessions, flexibility, cancellation policies and fees. Consider how long you want to commit to therapy and your finances.

How do I find a counsellor I can trust? Most importantly though is the counsellor themselves and the vital relationship that will build between you. Therapy isn't easy, but to do it you need to be able to trust the counsellor you choose, feel safe enough with them to face difficult areas and feel comfortable with them (although therapy isn't always comfortable!) Read their profiles and websites, can you get a feel for them? Make contact, speak on the phone, what do they sound like? Listen to what your gut reaction tells you. Even if you arrange an initial session and you don't like them afterwards, you are not obliged to go back to them. Naturally in life we don't get on with everyone we meet and counselling is no different, but don't give up, there will be someone out there you can work with.Counselling is a journey, it is important that you find the right person to accompany you on it!