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Things to consider when choosing a therapist

mindfulness / focused attention

Entering therapy requires commitment and trust, so choosing someone you can build a relationship with is really important. It needs to be someone you feel safe and comfortable with, so before you attend your first session, consider what sort of therapist you are after. Some individuals work best with more empathetic or encouraging therapists, whereas others may benefit from a more challenging approach. It is also important to pin down what you want to achieve from your self-investment, so that your choice of therapist and their therapeutic style is in keeping with your goals and objectives. First sessions are often an assessment to see if the therapist can help you but it is also an assessment to see if you feel comfortable with the therapist! If the session doesn’t feel right, talk about it and if it still doesn’t feel right – move on…. Working with the right person is vital if therapy is going to be useful.

Remember as well – if you have spent a lot of time thinking about or living with a problem, then considering the length of time it will take to work through it is also important. Some problems are more complex than others but there is seldom a quick fix – so having an idea of the time and the money you can afford on your work can help you plan the best way to manage your sessions in the most cost effective way.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how a therapist works: what approaches they use, who supervises their work, whether they have had experience dealing with your sort of problem before and what professional bodies they belong to. Your therapist should be able to answer these questions easily and will also appreciate that you have thought about the type of therapy and therapist you are after.

For further information on finding appropriate care, please look at the websites of the British Psychological Society (BPS), the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) or the College of Sex and Relationship Therapists (COSRT). These are all national organisations and all have stringent rules for membership as well as a code of ethics that all practitioners adhere to. I am a member of all three.


Counselling & Relationship Counsellors
Phone: 07968 291 297
Nottingham Office The Magnolia Centre 354 Mansfield Road Nottingham NG5 2EF
London Office 34 Oxberry Avenue London SW6 5SS


Michele McCulley is an accredited member of the BACP

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