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  • Writer's picturekirstiewright

How to find the right therapist for me?

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

How do I go about looking for the right therapist or psychologist for me?

Choosing a therapist can feel overwhelming but the most important factor is that you feel comfortable with the therapist as you will be talking to them about your distress. If you feel comfortable with a therapist you will share more and participate fully. The more you share the better your therapist will understand your experiences and be better able to tailor interventions to suit your needs. Evidence shows that the therapeutic relationship is an important factor in positive outcomes for therapy so if you don't feel comfortable choose a different therapist. Lots of therapists and psychologists offer free 15 minute telephone appointments prior to booking an initial assessment which is great in helping you to choose the right therapist for you. This allows you to get a feel for a therapist before you decide to work with them.

Ensure that your therapist is accredited with a relevant governing body. This ensures they have the right qualifications as this body would have done all of those checks.

Another key part of choosing the right therapist for you is ensuring your Therapist/Psychologist/Counsellor has the relevant qualifications. Ensure that your therapist is accredited with a relevant governing body. This ensures they have the right qualifications as this body would have completed checks to ensure they have the relevant qualifications.

What accreditations should I be looking for?

Check that the Therapist/ Psychotherapist/Psychologist is BABCP, BACP, BPS, UKCP or NCS accredited. This accreditation means that the therapists qualifications have been checked and that they are keeping their skills up to date by continuing to stay up to date with the latest research in therapy. The different accreditations relate to different professions.

We ensure that all therapists at creatives in mind are adequately accredited.

group therapy, what is the right therapist for me

How do I know what type of therapy is right for me?

The short answer is you don’t have to! Your first appointment with any Therapist/Psychotherapist/Psychologist will be looking at what your current difficulties are, what goals you want to work on and what type of therapy may be the most helpful. Therapists are trained to assess people’s difficulties to see what therapeutic approach is best. Many professionals are trained in more than one approach. Therapists will signpost you to other people if they aren’t trained in an approach that they think would be the most helpful. Therapists will often state what they can work with and any specialist areas before you make an appointment with them to help this process. For example we discuss what we specialise in here. You can also look on the NICE guidelines to see what the current recommended treatments are for different disorders. NICE are a national body that advise of the best treatments for different disorders. Their advice is based on current research so the guidance does change and is updated frequently. Currently NICE guidelines recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Health Anxiety. For the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder both CBT and EMDR are recommended treatments. Read this blog for more details of what CBT is and this blog for more details of what EMDR is.

find the right therapist for me

What’s the difference between a psychotherapist/psychologist/counsellor?

Therapists, psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists have slightly different trainings and may use different therapeutic models. They are all mental health professionals who use talking therapy to have alleviate distress. People with different titles may use the same therapeutic model. As mentioned before the main things to look for are whether you feel comfortable with a therapist and is the professional is qualified. Therapists/psychologist/psychotherapists and counsellors are trained to know what therapeutic models works best for what difficulty. If something is not in their skillset they will signpost you to someone who is trained.

Think about what is important for you in a therapist?

As mentioned above its important that you feel comfortable with the therapist you choose.

Ask yourself whether you have a preference of what gender the therapist is?

Would you like the sessions to be face to face, online or telephone?

If the therapy sessions are in person what location would you like the sessions to take place in?

find the right therapist for you

Once I have booked my first session what next?

After you have reached out to a therapist, go to your first appointment and remember you are not obliged after this session to continue. This is a really good opportunity to see whether you feel this therapist can meet your needs and whether you can work well together.

What can I expect from a first appointment?

This is a chance for both of you to see if you can work together and whether the therapist can help you to reach your goals for therapy. This is an essential step in finding the right therapist for you.

In the first session the therapist will likely ask you lots of questions in order to understand your difficulties so that they can see how they can help. This may include the following:

Your childhood

Your current difficulties including how long you have been experiencing these difficulties for

Your goals for therapy, which means what you would like to be different by the end of therapy.

Your current and past relationships with family, friends, partners and your wider community.

What helps you cope

Have you had therapy in the past and if so what was helpful and not so helpful about these past experiences.

Your sleep

Any substance use

Remember this session is for you and you are welcome to ask questions too. Be sure to ask the questions that will help you to see whether this is the right therapist for you. This might include the following:

What type of therapy do you specialise in?

What experience of you had in working with the difficulties that I require support with?

What will the sessions look like and what should I expect from these sessions?

What happens if I cant make a session?

what therapist is right for me


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