If you’re searching privately for a therapist or counsellor, you might be a little stuck about who to seek support from. There are so many choices out there, and how do you know is best? If you’re feeling stuck about this, have a read of our five tips below to help you make the decision.
First and foremost, is whether the therapist has the values and qualities you’re looking for in your therapist. Most clients are seeking someone non-judgemental and kind. Some therapists are more softly spoken and gentle, whereas some are more direct. There’s no right or wrong, provided they are being helpful, so it does come to personal choice.
Be sure to check out the therapist’s information on their website to see if they might be a good fit for you. It can also be worth dropping them an email or a quick phone call if you have any questions.
Training and accreditations
Training is really important, and it’s totally acceptable for you to check this with your therapist. If you’re after a CBT Therapist, you want to ensure they’ve done a 1-2 year postgraduate diploma or masters in CBT (on top of at least 3-4 years experience or core training) and are ideally accredited with the governing body: the BABCP. You can use the BABCP accreditation check here: https://www.cbtregisteruk.com/ All of Brighter Life Therapy’s CBT therapists are appropriately trained and accredited with the BABCP.
Some psychologists also use CBT as their main therapy. To ensure the best outcomes, be sure that the psychologists are Clinical Psychologists or Counselling Psychologists and have completed a three-year doctorate course in clinical or counselling psychology. They would also need to be registered with the HCPC, which you can check here: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/check-the-register/
Finally, if you’re after a counsellor, you need to ensure they have at least a level 3 and 4 in the diploma of psychotherapeutic counselling practice, which usually takes 3 years in total. Ideally they will also be registered with the BACP, which you can check here: https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Register
Note, the terms psychologist, psychotherapist, CBT therapist and counsellor are not protected titles, so anyone can call themselves this. Therefore, it’s best to check they have the qualifications and accreditations to go with the title!
Before the pandemic, private therapy was usually conducted via face to face sessions in the same room, so you had to be sure your therapist was local and accessible. Now, with the pandemic, many therapists don’t feel comfortable to return to face to face just yet.
Instead, video calls are becoming the new norm. Research shows these sessions can be just as effective, and as valued by clients and therapists alike. Telephone therapy can also be effective, particularly for clients who prefer to have an extra layer of confidentiality.
Remote therapy is great because you can now access a therapist anywhere in the country, which no longer limits your pool to choose from. It also works really well with other commitments like work or school, making therapy more accessible.
Some people are not so keen on these methods, but it’s worth a go if you like the therapist and want to get started with sessions. Your therapist will likely allow you to try 1-2 sessions like this, and then stop if you don’t like it after all.
At Brighter Life Therapy, all sessions are currently virtual (at time of this blog being posted) and this works really well for our clients.
Additional skills and experience
Many therapists have some additional skills, e.g. perhaps they lecture at universities, supervise staff who are qualified and/or training or have conducted research. You might really value these additional skills in your therapist, as it shows another string to their bow and suggests they have a wide range of experience and skills.
At Brighter Life Therapy, we have all these additional skills within our team, and feels this brings more experience and diversity to our team.
Unfortunately, private therapy comes with a cost. There is no minimum or maximum amount a therapist can charge, and it is up to them, based on what they think their service is worth.
It also depends on the area, as some areas will incur higher costs. For example, in Reading, the going rate for adult’s therapy is £95 and for children is £120. Our rates are slightly lower than this to make it slightly more accessible for people.
It’s also worth enquiring with services if they would consider a reduced rate, as they often will take this into account. At Brighter Life Therapy, we have reduced our rates when needed, and even offered some pro bono sessions during lockdown to those most in need.
Please use this enquiries form to request a self-referral form if you would like some CBT sessions
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