top of page

Making the choice to enter therapy

Choosing to enter therapy is a big step, but once you have made that decision, you need to find the right person. Think about what you would prefer, is gender important to you? Maybe you are looking for someone with the same cultural or religious background, or someone who has trained in a specific modality.

More often people don’t know what they want and feeling a sense of connection and the opportunity to build a therapeutic relationship is more important.

Knowing what modality is right for you might be quite confusing when there are so many approaches to choose from and you may not understand what some of the terminology means. Don’t let that deter you. Any good psychotherapist will be happy to explain more about the approach in layman terms and how this will affect the kind of work that you do. You should be able to ask questions before having the first session.

Some people hear about recommendations from friends, family and colleagues. This is great, it’s always good to know that someone has had a positive experience. Testimonials can be few and far between in a profession where people don’t tend to share that they are having therapy for fear of stigma, so if you hear good things, this kind of gold dust is a good place to start. However, it’s really important to understand that you are an individual, what suits you may be different to what a friend or colleague is happy with. As in all human dynamics feeling comfortable is key but you also need to feel safe and secure.

If you haven’t got a recommendation or even if you have, you should still check the person’s credentials. Head to the BACP or UKCP websites, as all registered members have had full training in counselling or psychotherapy giving them a licence to practice as well as having to adhere to strict codes of conduct. Some therapists like myself offer a free initial half hour session, and some expect payment up front. Most therapists work to a traditional 50 minute timing slot but some offer 90 minutes or double slots as I do if it is required. Some do time limited sessions (6-12) and some offer long term work. Ask in advance what they offer and what to expect. Read thoroughly their terms and conditions and understand yours and their contractual obligations before you attend. All of this might sound tedious but it is sensible. If you aren’t happy with the terms, have some thinking time and decide later or look for someone else.

Once you have made the decision, enjoy your therapy journey. Expect some bumps (working on the self is not always easy) but it’s often transformative and sometimes life changing!


bottom of page