Surely all therapists are the same? Why is choosing your own therapist so important?
When you make the decision to share your innermost thoughts, fears and concerns, you want to make sure that the person you are sharing this with is someone you like, trust and feel safe with. The advantage of seeing a Counsellor is that you have the freedom of choice to decide who you want to see as against a referral by your GP. You also may not want anyone to be able to access your information and so it is important to you that it remains private and confidential - a Counsellor does this as they do not hold any records of your sessions on your health records. If you don’t feel comfortable or safe with your therapist, then it is time to look for another one. Your relationship with your therapist is just as important as any relationship you have outside of therapy. If you dislike your therapist for any reason, then this will impact the relationship and result in you not getting the most out of your sessions together. Don’t just stick it out, look for another therapist until you find the one that you like and feel comfortable with.
A few other questions you should get answers to:
Is the Counsellor registered with a professional body?
If a counsellor is registered then they must follow a code of ethics, upskill their training regularly and receive supervision to ensure they are giving you the very best of themselves and their training.
Is the Counsellor qualified?
In Australia counselling is not regulated and anyone can call themselves a counsellor (just like many other professions). It is therefore just as important asking if they are qualified as you would ask your electrician if they are licenced.
Does the Counsellor claim to be the expert?
The only expert in your life is you. No-one knows yourself more than you do and therefore the therapist is there to help you uncover what you need to overcome your situation.
Does the Counsellor ‘fix’ your concerns?
A good counsellor will never tell you what to do, they will encourage and support you whilst helping you to find ways you can be independent with managing your circumstances. This is when therapy is at its most powerful.
Does the Counsellor make guarantees or promises?
A good counsellor does provide hope but not guarantees. Healing is always possible but does require you to be willing and put in the work for the change to occur. Change is also not an overnight process and will require commitment and perseverance from yourself, usually over multiple sessions.
This is your time to heal and with the right therapist, you will start to see results in a few sessions. Any professional therapist will understand if you decide to move on but whatever you do, don’t give up. Sometimes it takes time but when the fit is right, your journey to your best life will begin.
Debra Bragança / Counsellor & Psychotherapist / Anchoring Your Life Counselling & Coaching
Specialising in Anxiety, Depression, Grief & Relationships