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How did you choose a counsellor?

(12 Posts)
FeistyLass Mon 24-Dec-12 12:00:37

I'm looking for some advice and thinking maybe those who survived dysfunctional families or emotionally abusive relationships might have some insight.
If you went to a counsellor, did you choose a male or female? Which type of counselling did you find most effective eg cbt, gestalt, etc?
I've only ever attended female relationship counsellors with dp but I'm thinking of starting some individual counselling and looking for some advice. Thanks.

MagicHouse Mon 24-Dec-12 12:57:07

I saw two female counsellors. The first was a psychotherapist. She was fanatastic, and really uncovered a lot of things (took over two years though). The second was more into CBT. Between them they changed my life!
The first I got via the NHS (had some free sessions then went private with her). The second I seem to remember googling registered counsellors and just picking local ones - took a couple of tries to find the right one.

FeistyLass Mon 24-Dec-12 13:35:14

Thanks, MagicHouse, especially for the reality check regarding timescales. I think I can be too impatient for results so I'll need to keep reminding myself that it's a long process not a quick fix.

JoylessFucker Mon 24-Dec-12 13:47:31

Your counsellor/psychotherapist should be accredited by the one of the governing bodies - the BACP or the UKCP are the two main ones. Both sites will provide a list of counsellors if you input your postcode, they will also explain some of the terms used to help you in making your choice.

In the end, its about a personal fit - so what worked for one person, may not work for you. That's both in terms of therapy style and the individual.

Would agree with Magic that it takes time but is entirely worth it.

JoylessFucker Mon 24-Dec-12 13:51:22

Sorry, here are the find a therapist links from both sites I mentioned:



FeistyLass Mon 24-Dec-12 17:31:52

Thanks, Joyless, that will be my Boxing Day task.

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 24-Dec-12 17:51:55

Hi Feisty

Gestalt therapy isnt widely practiced it is a bit of a specialism, but some aspects of it will appear in a therapy session, pure Gestalt is really hard going and you will need to know what it is about before you start.

I would go for a counsello who is integrative doesnt specialise but dips in and out we call this our tool box. I am Psychodynamic thats what I tend to go towards but also am naturally existential, which is all the big stuff meaning of life, why were here blah blah.

Deffo go for someone who is on an approved list and a member of one of the big accredited agencies, if you meet and dont think you like the counsellor it is ok to say so, you wont upset them, you cant like or click with everyone so chose who you feel gets you and are comfortable with.

best of luck and a merrry chrimbo

Couragedoesntroar Mon 24-Dec-12 20:31:48

Gestalt practised well is very flexible and responsive so shouldn't be hard going guilty. It can be the bees knees for a strong therapeutic relationship.

I would personally go for an initial session with several therapists (maybe of different theoretical orientations) and pick your preferred one. No therapist worth their salt will take issue with this.

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 24-Dec-12 20:48:21

Hi Courage it can be and I do use parts of it, empty chair etc but like the man who came up with the theories it can be quite hard going and very challenging for someone who is just starting out in therapy.

I also echo your point about a therapist not minding a client not returning as well.

Couragedoesntroar Mon 24-Dec-12 21:02:30

Hi guilty possibly not the place for in depth discussion on gestalt theory and practice (much as I'd enjoy that) grin, in my own practice as a Gestalt psychotherapist, I tend to take a dialogic stance (as per Laura Perls rather than Fritz) because, for me, the more confrontative methods are potentially shaming. Not that I skirt away from challenge, but the best therapists I know are more collaborative.

When picking my own current therapist I interviewed three. One was ok (just ok), the second awful and the third one of the wisest women I have ever met to whom I am forever grateful!

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 24-Dec-12 21:12:26

I too was very lucky the first therapist I met I clicked with straight away, I needed challenging otherwise would get away with murder.

Anyways I digress merry Xmas

FeistyLass Mon 31-Dec-12 09:45:31

Thanks guilty and courage. It's interesting because I haven't really felt that I clicked with any of the relationship counsellors but I wasn't sure if that was affected by dp's dynamic too. Good to know it can take a while to find someone who clicks.

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