It can be really hard to take the first steps to find a therapist who makes you feel comfortable and confident that he/she can help you resolve your issues. I have listed out 10 tips on choosing your therapist and then getting the best from your sessions.
Tips on choosing your therapist
Use the consultation time wisely!
Most therapists offer some free consultation time so that new clients can explain why they are seeking support and what they need. Use that time and speak to your therapist before therapy starts! This consultation is also a chance for you to ask your questions – so please use that time and ask away! I always offer time on the phone or at my clinic, and then the client can decide whether or not to book a full session.
If you don’t feel a good rapport with the therapist – consider finding another one!
It is important that there is a good rapport between you and your therapist and that you can trust the person. Therapy will almost always fail if you don’t feel that you can tell your therapist how you are honestly feeling. It can be difficult to talk about what is happening for you, and trust and confidence will build as the sessions continue.
Does your therapist know what you want from the sessions?
By the end of the consultation, do you think that your therapist understands why you are seeking support? Does he/she know what you want to achieve? Do you know how he/she intends to work with you and what the process is? If you are left feeling vague – then ask for clarification.
How long will it take and what will it cost?
Have you been given an idea of how many sessions that the therapist thinks it will take to help you resolve your issue (s). Do you know how much it will cost? Do you know how long a session will last. What about cancellation policy? Will the therapist accept insurance cover, or if you have your employer paying for the sessions – will the therapist invoice directly?
Does your therapist have the skills you need?
Ask about training and qualifications. Unfortunately there are therapists who have low quality qualifications and don’t have the necessary experience to work with clients. For hypnotherapy, you can check membership with www.general-hypnotherapy-register.com and for BWRT – check with www.bwrt.org. Membership on www.bwrt.org shows that the therapist has kept up to date with latest standards of training, and is receiving appropriate levels of mentoring. There are other agencies so ask your therapist if they are a member of any accrediting bodies.
Has the therapist supported people with these issues before?
Ask what experience your therapist has for the area that you are seeking support. For instance – have you worked with addiction before? How many people for anxiety have you previously treated? What level of success have you had? How many sessions did it take? Check their website for testimonials.
Ask for self help suggestions?
Ask how you can help yourself in between sessions. Your therapist should be able to make some useful suggestions on how you can feel less anxious, manage pain, cope with addiction in between sessions. If you don’t feel your therapist can talk comfortably about the topic of your sessions, then query how much experience he/she has. But remember that you are always the expert in your life. Turn it into a discussion!
Confidentiality and protocols
Your therapist should talk to you about confidentiality – how notes will be stored, instances when confidentiality may be broken. It is your personal information so make sure you are happy with the answer. For example – I tell my clients that I keep my notes in a locked filing cabinet, in a locked office.
What will help you get the best out of the session?
It is OK if you want to write down any notes on how you are feeling, or questions that you have. It is about you getting the best out of the session so do whatever helps you feel comfortable. Spend time before the session thinking about what is happening for you, so that you can talk to your therapist about it.
It is OK to go away and think about it!?
You don’t have to commit to signing up to sessions straightaway – it is OK to say you want to go home and think about it! But if you feel that you would benefit from the support and like what you heard – book your first session and start getting your issues sorted!
I hope you found this useful. If you would like to discuss how BWRT or hypnotherapy can help you, then please call me on 07786 134541 to book your free consultation. Hope to speak to you soon.