Is Your Therapist Professional?
When selecting a therapist to work with, it’s vital that you check things thoroughly. Here’s an informal “Top 10” of things to check before embarking with your therapist:
- What are their qualifications? It is vital that your new psychotherapist or counsellor is competent to be doing the work you are needing. I would want to know the level of their qualifications and for how many years have they been practicing?
- Are they a member of a professional organisation? As it stands in August 2013 anyone can call themselves a “psychotherapist” or “counsellor” – they are not protected job titles. Because of this it is vital to check to see if your therapist belongs to a recognised and respected professional organisation for example: UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) or BACP (British Association for Counselling or Psychotherapy) or BABCP (British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies).
- Do they subscribe to a recognised mainstream code of ethics?
- Do they submit to a recognised mainstream complaints and resolution process?
- Are they committed to professional development?
- Do they offer you clear terms of business – ideally in the form of a written arrangement?
- Do you get a sense that they are connected to the profession? GP’s are encouraged not to practice on their own and to belong to a group. It is the same for therapists that they are encouraged to belong to professional networks, organisations or to expose themselves to some accountability.
- TA would always be interested in clear, open communication and a sense that both parties are OK – that both parties can think and change and be responsive to the situation. Do you get a good sense of collaboration from your new therapist?
- What is their experience around your specific difficulty?
- Do you feel safe and respected in the therapeutic space?