Therapy is a term used to describe Counselling, Psychotherapy & Coaching and therapists are trained to work with a wide range of issues such as bereavement, confidence, anxiety, depression, relationship issues & trauma to name but a few. Short term therapy may be available via your GP, your employer if they operate an EAP scheme(Employee Assistance), or your school/ college so it is worth enquiring what is avaialble to you. However you may decide that you want to opt to see a therapist privately – there are several benefits to this including:
1) You can choose your therapist
2) You can determine for yourself how many sessions you would like
3) You may have more flexibility re timings, frequency of appointments
The following may help you determine how to go about finding a private therapist:
1. Experience of Therapist – I would suggest looking for someone who is Accredited with BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapists) – this will ensure they have considerable post qualifying years experience. Your Therapist should have a minimum of Diploma level training with a reputable training institute. Search online at www.bacp.co.uk
2. Location – It is important to consider where and when you are available for counselling. It’s important to make time & space for the sessions so you are not rushing to pack it in. Sessions on the way to work might not be ideal if you are likely to feel emotional as a result. On the other hand, many of my clients come from a fair distance and have revealed that they enjoy the journey time both to and from their sessions as it gives them to time to reflect. Some therapists now work online and you may feel this offers a better solution for you. Consider too, where the therapist is based – they may work from home or from an office and check whether they have available parking.
3) Fees – Fees can vary but are usually around £40-£65 per 50 minute session. Some counsellors such as myself work from home and as this offers a cost saving to me I am able to offer my rates far more competitively and I offer a full 60 minute hour. If funding private therapy is outside of your affordability, please search for your closest Counselling Services who may provide a subsidised service which is often charged at a rate that you can afford.
4) Types of Therapy – There are many types of therapy all seeking to support you with your issue but maybe taking a slightly different approach. Having searched the BACP website, I suggest having a good look at individaul therapist’s websites to read about their particular approach to see if it might suit you.
4) Initial Session – An initial session (often called an Assessment Session) will allow you to meet with the therapist to decide whether they are a good fit. Personally, I think it is absolutely vital that you feel comfortable working with them – in order to get the most out of therapy you need to feel confident and trust in your therapist. If the therapist seems a good fit, they will ask you to sign a contract that lays out the terms of your relationship together and further sessions can be agreed. If you feel unsure about the therapist, you are under no obligation to book another appointment and can book to see someone else.