There are a lot of things you will want to know about the person you are going to engage in therapy with.
This is a complete stranger and you are preparing to tell them not just your story, but share intimate details about you and your life.
Do not hesitate to ask any questions you have. Some of my answers are found here on my pages.
1. Are you registered with a governing body? This is an important question. The titles of counsellor, therapist, and psychotherapist are not
protected in the UK; anyone can set up and call themselves a e.g. counsellor. I am a BACP Registered Counsellor, a British Psychological Society
Counselling Psychologist in training (at the end of training), a drug and alcohol psychotherapist, and a fully trained, BABCP fully accredited CBT Therapist.
I am also a psychologist with a small “p”. My governing bodies are: The BPS, BACP, BABCP, FDAP, CIPD (affiliate), American Psychological Association –
Divisions 17, 49, & 50 (affiliate). I abide by the stated ethics and codes of practice of all these organisations.
2. Do you have regular supervision? Yes. It is a requirement of all the governing bodies I am registered with that we have regular supervision.
3.How long will I be in therapy? It would be unethical to encourage someone to come to therapy after they have reached their therapeutic goals.
The length of therapy is dependent on many things – e.g. the severity of the issues, what you want to accomplish in therapy. Some people feel they
are better able to seek their potential in life after 10 sessions, some after 20, others after five. It entirely depends on you and what you feel is helpful.
4. What are your strengths as a therapist? I don’t peddle “snake oil”, am plain-speaking, authentic, honest, endeavour to provide a safe space for
people to explore their issues, and believe my clients can make good choices for themselves.
5. Can you make me get better? No. If anyone promises you they can “make you” get better, they are not being truthful and peddling “snake oil”.
No one can “make you” do anything and the most a therapist can say is they will offer suggestions they think may be helpful to you but they cannot
promise they will be helpful.
6. How do I know my personal information are going to stay confidential? Confidentiality is a cornerstone of all ethics and practice codes. It would
be entirely unethical to be negligent about maintaining confidentiality for clients. There are exceptions – if someone tells me they are going to harm
themselves or another person, particularly a child, I am obliged by law to report this and / or take action on the situation. However, I would make
every effort to discuss the circumstances with the client and see how we could manage this collaboratively. I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), reference number ZA274676.
7. Why are your fees as they are? My fees reflect my training and experience levels.
Questions for yourself after you speak to or meet the therapist:
Did you feel relaxed and comfortable when talking with the therapist?
Did it feel safe?
Did you feel rushed or were you able to go at your own pace?
Did the therapist seem to “get” your issues, or did they misinterpret them entirely?
Did you feel the therapist was empathetic? Understanding? Supportive? Non-judgemental? Did you feel “heard”?
Imagine your deepest fears and concerns – could you imagine telling this person about it?