I am going to help you deal with the confusion about what kind of counsellor you might want to consider working with. I suspect that you are feeling quite upset right now and you could really do with someone guiding you through the mire of who to contact.
If you live outside of the UK, scroll past the first couple of paragraphs - there is plenty of information that applies wherever you live. By the way, I am talking about an 'Accredited Counsellor or Psychotherapist' - that is a UK term, in the US you would want to find a 'Licensed Counselor or Psychotherapist'.
(US spelling: counselor. UK spelling: counsellor)
For more specific information about different needs in counselling, see:
At the very least you will want to ensure that your counsellor has the right qualifications, is insured and is accredited with a professional organisation.
This is how you can find the details of counselors in your area:
These are the organisations I am personally registered with. The BACP website includes references to other organisations.
Here are my suggestions for questions you might like to ask the counsellor you have decided to contact. Pick the one that you feel confident in asking and/or that are particularly important to you. I have explained why it is useful to ask that particular question.
Make a note of the answer - just in case you would to ring that organisation at any time for further information.
A counsellor in training may be excellent at what she does, perhaps building on previous experience in another related job. However, you should know whether or not they are still in training. If you want to find a marriage counsellor (couples or relationship counselor), please make sure that your counsellor has actually trained as a couple counsellor. Many counsellors decide to offer couple counsellor without having had any or sufficient training.
You really don't want someone who has done their training through a distance/on-line course.
Counsellors may have been practicing for a number of years. However, that does not necessarily mean that they have a lot of experience. Particularly if they have only ever been in private practice they may not actually have seen that many clients.
This is particularly important if you are working shifts or if you rely on other people for childcare. Some counsellors or organisations might expect you to keep to a certain day/time.
Some counsellors are not concerned about extending a session. That means that you may become anxious about commitments arranged for after the session.
Most counsellors will want you to commit to one session a week. I personally (and indeed most human givens therapists) don't find it necessary for you to commit to weekly sessions.
Well ... this may be a little bit like: how long is a piece of string? However, the counsellor should give you some indication. Some will be of the opinion that you will need many months or years to really benefit, or even to begin to feel better. Those that do mainly short-term solution focused work are more likely to give you an average number of sessions.
This varies according to where you live, what approach the counsellor takes, how experienced he/she is and the length of the session. He/she may offer reduced fees if you are a student or are in receipt of benefits.
The counsellor's approach may mean that the sessions will be mainly focused on your past. You want to think carefully about whether that would suit you. Is that likely to help you feel better? It may or may not. Certainly if you have suffered a very recent trauma, this approach is not advised.
The counsellor may or may not have any idea on how to deal with particular conditions. Some will consider that once you have dealt with any 'underlying' difficulties, those problems will be sorted too.
This is a given, if your counsellor belongs to a recognised professional organisation.
If you are interested in being able to distinguish between different theories in counselling / psychotherapy (a minefield!), then do ask the person you contact how exactly he/she works.
Counsellors and therapists are trained in different 'approaches'. How one counsellor 'approaches' you and your problem is likely to differ from another's, according to how they are trained and how much experience they have.
Research has shown though that most experienced counsellors use skills/knowledge from different approaches. It seems that they naturally work more in line with the human givens.
It is also very useful if your counsellor has some idea on how the brain works!
I have noticed that people submit questions to search engines about ending counselling. These requests may of course come from counsellors who are training.
However, just in case you, as a client, are wondering how to end the counselling - read on for further information.
You may have questions about ending the counselling relationship. It is sometimes difficult to know how to end the counselling, particularly when you have built a good relationship with your counsellor.
Here are some questions that may help you to decide how to think through and articulate your wish to finish counselling.
If you are really not sure, you may like to discuss it with someone independent. You can do that, in confidence, by contacting the organisation your counsellor belongs to.
It is really important that you find the right person. If you are really unhappy after the first session - don't give up on counselling. Go through the process again. If it has taken ages for you to pluck up the courage to even call someone, than keep that momentum going. You have done it once now, you know now know how to find a (marriage guidance or relationship) counsellor!
In the meantime, there is much that you can do for
yourself. If you are having relationship problems, then I
suggest you visit my page: Save
my relationship/marriage, where I review a marriage recovery
programme developed by Lee Baucom, PhD.
If you are suffering from depression, you really want to start as soon as possible to deal with it to avoid your becoming more and more miserable. Depression is such a debilitating condition!
Try to get yourself out of that deep dark pit as soon as you can. You can do it without therapy - HypnosisDownloads have a team of experts in the treatment of depression, so I recommend their super-humane and user-friendly downloads. See my page: Hypnosis Online FAQ, where you also find my recommended downloads.
See also: Relationship advice - resources
Fine-tune your relationship and lift your spirits!
You may also be interested in:
|How to deal with
Stress and relationship problems
Dealing with trauma
How to find a lawyer
How to get your partner/spouse back
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