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How to choose a counsellor(4 Posts)
So I'm thinking of getting counselling and I don't know where to start to ensure I get it right.
I've had counselling before (last year) and the woman was very nice and supportive but after a few sessions I started to think that I should be getting better and maybe all this stuff in my head is just me being silly so I'd start saying that techniques were working and after maybe 6-8 weeks I finished going.
In hindsight I obviously wasn't OK but felt a bit silly. I feel ok expressing myself on a forum but didn't seem to be able to be honest with her. Maybe she just wasn't the right one for me.
Well now I know that life isn't working and I seem to have mini breakdowns on regular occasions throughout the year. I need to get this sorted.
I've started to look for counselling in my area but they all seem to offer different therapies, person centred, cognitive etc.
How do I figure out what they all mean and what is the best approach for me?
Also how often do I look at going? My life is busy and I feel exhausted all the time, finances are bad but somehow I need to fit in counselling and be able to afford it too.
For background I think my issues are deeply rooted in self confidence, self esteem and self worth and I think this is why I have relationship issues. I feel isolated and alone and want to be close to my family which due to my relationship is not possible (just a distance thing as dh won't move and I can't expect him to)
Any advice would be appreciated.
Oh and also should I be seeing a counsellor, therapist, psychologist? What is the difference?
Hi Pandora - it is a bit of a minefield but the thing I did was go on recommendation first. If you can't do that there are websites where you can browse counsellors in your area and they will give details of what they help with and how. I've found most will give a telephone or face to face free session to see if you gel. The counsellor should guide you in timings of sessions combined with your availability and cost. I hope that helps a little x
CBT is a fairly mechanical, problem-solving approach to difficulties, which encourages you to look at your patterns of thinking in the present and challenge them. It's usually short-term, and doesn't aim to help you unpick how your past experiences may be impacting on you in the present.
If you want someone who will help you think and understand more about how your childhood experiences are contributing to your present difficulties, then you want a more in-depth analytic approach with a therapist who describes themselves as psychoanalytic, psychodynamic or integrative.
There isn't a strict definition of counselling vs psychotherapy, but as a general rule, counselling will be more short-term and in less depth, and someone describing themselves as a counsellor will probably have a lower level of qualification and training than a psychotherapist.
The UKCP and BACP are the two professional bodies for therapists and counsellors, and they both have 'find a therapist' functions on their website where you can search by postcode and by the specific issues you want to address.
After that it really comes down to gut feeling - there's solid evidence that the quality of the relationship between client and therapist is more important than the specific modality the therapist uses, so really you just have to look at their websites, talk to them on the phone and then meet with them to see whether you get on. All therapists will be used to people coming for initial meetings and then deciding it's not quite right for them, they won't be offended by that.
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