top of page
  • Writer's pictureLisa Jones

How do I find the right counsellor for me?

Finding a Counsellor

If you have never had counselling before, finding a suitable counsellor can be a daunting task. Here are some hints and tips to help you choose.

  • Qualifications – make sure the counsellor is qualified. If they are on a counselling directory they would have had to submit evidence of their qualifications – but you can also ask the counsellor to show you their certificates. They should have them readily to hand when you meet.

  • Professional Body - Counselling as a profession is not currently regulated but many practitioners choose to join a professional body to ensure they are aligned with a code of ethics and a resolution procedure for any complaints. This serves to protect the client as well as the counsellor and so it’s a good way to check the professionalism of the person you choose.

  • Experience – if you have a specific issue, its best to see a counsellor who has experience of that issue. For example, anxiety, bereavement, sex or relationship problems.

  • Theoretical Approach – this can be the most confusing aspect of seeking a counsellor and to a degree its less important than the other factors. If you research an approach you feel would be best for you, then the task is easier, but the counsellor should provide a description of how they work on their website which is easier to understand. Ask the counsellor how they work and what happens in a session before you start.

  • Location – Counselling usually demands a weekly session, so make sure the counsellor you choose is in an area that you can get to on time. Many counsellors offer Skype sessions and so if you find a suitably qualified and experienced counsellor outside of your area – ask them if they would see you over Skype.

  • Fees – You will need to pay for each session and the number of sessions can vary widely depending on the issue and the type of counselling. The minimum number of sessions would be about 6 and the maximum can cover several years, so make sure you ask and budget for the fees when choosing. If you are a student or on a low income, many counsellors offer concession rates so make sure you ask.

Some counsellors offer a free introductory meeting, where you can experience each other and ask additional questions. This is good practice and ensures you both have the opportunity to establish whether you feel you can work together.

Some example questions for you to ask:

  1. When did you qualify?

  2. Do you have experience of working with [my issue]?

  3. I’m on a low income, do you offer concessions?

  4. What professional body do you belong to?

  5. How many sessions do you think I would need?

  6. Can I meet you first to see if I like you?

There are two good online resources in the UK to find counsellors:

bottom of page