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How to find a therapist… and the questions to ask them : Part 1



If you’re reading this, no doubt you’ve felt the need to reach out for help either for yourself or for a loved one. Welcome to one of the most important journeys you will make, in your whole life. So, how do you find the right therapist for you?


Here are four tips in finding the right therapist for you. These are my recommendations. You might choose another way but I hope that my ideas can help. Part 2 of this blogs talks about the questions you can ask a therapist, if you still have questions before you make a decision on the right therapist for you.


1.Go to a reputable source to find a counsellor (sometimes referred to as a therapist)

Mental health is a hot topic. There is guidance and advice everywhere about what to do. Social media plays a massive part in informing our decisions but it’s a world pretty much without regulation or oversight. Make sure you go to a reputable source to find a suitably qualified and experienced therapist.

 

2.Where are these reputable sources?

If you want to find a therapist who has proved their professional  competence and who is confident enough to share their areas of expertise, I’d recommend searching one of the professional directories available on the internet. Naturally, you’ll find ‘yours truly’ in these directories but there’s a reason I use them. I trust them. Try searching the following :


National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society : https://ncps.com/

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy : https://www.bacp.co.uk/

 

3.What are these directories and what does it mean when a therapist is listed in them?

Counselling Directory and Psychology today are directories for therapists and obtaining a listing is not a straightforward affair. Each therapist will have a ‘tick’ next to their name along with the word ‘Verified’. This means they appear in those directories only once they’ve provided evidence of their qualification(s) and their registration with their professional membership bodies.


The NCPS and BACP are the professional membership bodies mentioned above and they have their own rigorous procedure for ensuring the status of the professionals listed with them. Only once they are satisfied as to a therapist’s qualifications and competence, can a therapist join them.

Let’s try an example.


4.Where are you, 'Persis Ashton Therapy'?

If you search for therapists in Blackpool on Counselling Directory, Psychology Today and NCPS, it won’t be long before I appear in their listings. Take a look at what they say about what it means to be ‘Verified’.


You won’t find me on the BACP listing. Why is that, I hear you say? Again, obtaining a listing is hard won. A therapist needs to either be qualified with a certificate from a college or university that provides a course accredited by BACP or BACP registered members have passed a Certificate of Proficiency to prove their competence in providing a therapeutic service. However, you can’t sit that test unless you have an appropriate qualification and the waiting list to sit the test is not a short one. I have my qualification but I need to sit my test, which I’ve been waiting for. My test is next Friday.


Watch this space!

_______________


For more on this topic, and if you feel you need some more tips, check back for Part 2 of this blog where I’ll be looking at the questions you can ask yourself and ask a therapist, in order to ensure you find the right person for you.


If you feel ready to reach out for help now, see how you get on with your search. I hope you find a welcome from your therapist that’s filled with warmth and respect.


If you have been affected by the contents of this blog, or you need support right now, you can seek help out of hours and here is some useful information from Mind :

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