When you first access counselling with us, you’ll be offered a choice as to who you‘d like to work with. But what should you consider when choosing a counsellor? We asked our team to share their advice with you…
1. Consider someone who specialises in your particular struggles.
We all have our own specialisms: anxiety, depression, trauma, marriage problems, grief, staff care, navigating work demands. And we have experiences in different sectors too: aid work, international development, the corporate world, and the church. This diversity of professional expertise and cultural background is part of the beauty of our team.
2. Don’t worry about knowing the jargon.
‘Gestalt’. ‘Integrative’. ‘Psychodynamic’. There’s lots of jargon in this line of work. If you’re interested in what these terms mean, it doesn’t hurt to do a little Googling, but they’re all just different routes to the same intended result: helping you process your challenges. The most important thing is that you feel that the therapist “hears you” and is able to develop a trusting alliance with you.
3. Think about the kind of person you’re most likely to get on with, but don’t put too much stock in it.
Ask yourself who you might feel most comfortable with in terms of gender, age, faith or culture. But try to be flexible: you might be surprised at who you feel a connection with. And bear in mind that counsellors tend to be good at building rapport with anyone, as this is crucial to us being able to help you.
4. Rest assured that all of our therapists are highly qualified.
We’re all accredited by professional governing bodies in our country of operation. We have high standards for clinical supervision and continuing professional development too. And all our treatment approaches are evidence-based. We are all insured to work in person or online. And any reputable counsellor won’t mind you asking questions or for proof of these things.
5. If talking to a counsellor feels too daunting right now, you could consider booking some time with a coach.
On the face of it, they look quite similar. Both involve time that is confidential and focused on you. Both provide a safe space for you to be open and honest. Both will help you feel heard and understood. And both will support you to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. The main difference is that one looks forward, and the other looks back. A Coach can help you achieve future goals, like make a career move, avoid burnout, or improve your relationships. A Counsellor, on the other hand, can help you when past experiences intrude upon the present.
6. You can always try another counsellor if they don’t feel like the right fit.
Your first counselling session is all about making sure that the counsellor and yourself can work together well. Counsellors are good at this. We’re trained to work with the ‘vibes’ in the room, but if you feel unsure about your therapist, it’s not the end of the world. You can always ask to be referred to a different counsellor who might be a better fit.
If you or a member of your team might benefit from counselling, then you can read more about it and book your first session here.