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What to look for in a couples counsellor

(4 Posts)
nrv0us Wed 20-May-15 09:19:02

I know this is down to the individual, but I was just wondering how you went about looking for a couples counsellor. Seems like an important decision, and I don't want to make it at random.

Or maybe -- anyone in Brighton got any recommendations?

FredaMayor Wed 20-May-15 12:23:37

Unless you refer yourselves privately the chances are you would be randomly allocated a counsellor, and in that case the only way to know if that person is right for you is to engage with the process and then evaluate for yourselves whether it is a person you can work with.

In the sessions a counsellor uses direction from him or herself as part of the therapeutic process and that brings a dynamic of its own, mostly down to experience, empathy and knowledge. If it were me, I would choose someone who is a qualified psychologist and behavioural counsellor rather someone called a 'life coach' or NLP practitioner which are pretty much 'hobby' qualifications and there is a world of difference between the two ends of the spectrum.

Relate are a good place to start because their requirements are fairly rigorous, I suggest you have a look at their website as a starting point, and there would be no harm in enquiring about counselling at your GP practice.

Good luck.

finallymadeupmymind Wed 20-May-15 12:35:47

I would recommend Niall Maclellan at Brighton Relate, OP. He is the supervising counsellor - great judgement, I think, about when to be firm about an issue and when to back off a bit. Warm, empathetic but with a no nonsense edge. Has a sense of humour too, which makes it all more bearable! He seemed particularly able to get to the root of the major issues in our relationship, rather than spouting generalisations (as a previous counsellor had done). He really listens, I suppose….

He hasn't managed to sort out the problems in my marriage, but they were unsolvable I think due to an uncounsellable OH! He has given me a lot of insight into our relationship, though, and has absolutely helped me make some major decisions. Good luck.

nrv0us Thu 21-May-15 09:35:35

Aha -- thanks for the recommendation!

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