Deciding to ask for help and go the therapy can be a difficult decision. Once you have made the decision the next question can often be, how will I find a therapist? What should I be looking for and how will I know if they are any good?
Recommendations are often how we go about seeking professionals, for example, I want to change hairdressers, I see a hairstyle I really like so I ask "who did your hair?". In this example I can see the professional's work, I have a roadmap. I want a new haircolour and here I can see a good example. Unfortunately this is not how therapy works, I can't see a finished product and select the professional accordingly. It is much less clear than that, there are different types of therapist, different schools of therapy, and what works for your friend might not work for you! To add to the difficulties, often the time we are looking for a therapist is a time where we are at our most vulnerable or low point and the choice can appear overwhelming.
Here are a few things you should be looking out for.
Firstly make sure you are choosing a qualified therapist, all counsellors and psychotherapist will be members of a professional body who ensure they are appropriately qualified to practise. I am a pre-accredited member of IACP for example. PSI Psychological Society of Ireland is another registered body. Don't be afraid to ask your therapist about qualifications and professional memberships.
Secondly, the best therapy happens when the client and therapist have a good relationship, where there is trust and security for the client. It is a good idea to always avail of a free consultation if offered or to approach the first session as a type of interview. You will be spending your hard earned money on this therapy, don't be afraid to assess your potential therapist to ensure you can build a therapeutic relationship with them. Ask them how they deal with issues that are important to you, such as anxiety for example. You might feel somewhat awkward about doing this, but if your choice of therapist is a good one, they will welcome the chance to make sure you can both work together successfully.
If after the first session you decide the fit isn't quite right, you should keep on looking. Your therapist will understand that your choice of therapist will need to feel right and will not take offence. Good luck in your search!
If you would like to explore if we could work together or what therapy with my might offer you, please feel free to avail of a free 15-30 minute session. Click here