Finding the Right Therapist

It can be difficult and confusing trying to find the right therapist, especially if it's at a time when you're experiencing either physical or emotional pain.

This page is designed to give you some ideas about what's important when you're looking for a talking therapist, and ways to help you make the right choice.

What to look for in a therapist

When you're struggling, either physically or mentally, it can seem daunting and confusing trying to find someone who can help. Personal recommendations are of course ideal, but that's not always possible and you can end up scouring the internet and going round in circles trying to make a decision.

This page is designed to give you some pointers about things you can look for to help this process. These ideas work for all kinds of therapy, but are especially useful for the talking therapies, such as counselling or psychotherapy, where the relationship between therapist and client is particularly crucial to the therapeutic process.

Some questions worth asking

Are they qualified?

It can sometimes be useful to look at a therapist's qualifications but it is worth being aware that not all qualifications are the same. Despite appearing at first glance to be reassuring, some qualifications can be achieved within a short time frame and even with distance learning. You may decide that's suitable for some therapies, but if you're sharing something as important as, for example, your mental health you might want to be sure it's someone who has taken the time to invest in their learning.

The best way to ensure that your therapist is well qualified is to check whether they're a member of a respected professional or regulatory body. A good association will require that their members are qualified to an acceptable level and you can check what they require of their members on each association's own website.

Are they regulated?

It's helpful when looking for a therapist to know the difference between a regulatory body and a professional body. Generally, a regulatory body acts in the interests of the public, whereas a professional body acts in the interests of its members. This means that membership of a professional body isn't as good a recommendation as registration with a regulatory body.

There are some associations that act as both a regulatory body and a professional association (such as the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). If a practitioner is a member of an association that regulates the profession as well as represents it, that's a good sign too.

Some professions are regulated by statutory law, such as chiropractic, osteopathy and medicine. This means that it's illegal for anyone who is not registered with their regulatory body to call themselves by the professional title (e.g. Chiropractor, Osteopath). But for those disciplines not regulated by statute, it is possible for anyone to call themselves by the profession's title (e.g. counsellor, psychotherapist or massage therapist). In these cases, it's particularly important to find out just how well qualified and monitored the therapist is.

Are they approachable?

It's important in any kind of therapy, whether it's a talking therapy or a hands-on therapy, that you feel you can trust your practitioner. Having confidence and trust in them will ensure that you get the best from the therapeutic process.

A good practitioner will be happy to talk to you before you commit to booking a paid appointment with them, so that you can ask a few short questions. Even this brief exchange will give you a feel for whether you might be able to work well together. Trust your instincts and if you're not comfortable, try someone else. This initial contact is the start of the therapeutic relationship, so it's an important part of the process.

Similarly, if you've had a few sessions with someone but you don't feel it's working for you, don't give up completely on the idea of the therapy you've chosen. Sometimes people need to try a few different therapists before they find one who they feel is really on their wavelength and with whom they can work well. So stick with it and keep trying - the likelihood is that you will find someone eventually who might just change your life!

What next?

Hopefully you now have some idea about what to look for in a therapist. You're welcome to have a look at our page Treatments & Therapies to see if the right therapist is waiting for you here at Tillow Barn.

Please note:

All our therapists are self-employed, so manage their own diaries etc. To book, please contact them direct.