Rather than just give advice on this, I have a number of questions I’d suggest asking a prospective psychotherapist.
1. Are you an accredited member of a professional organisation?
This is quite important as it means you have a means of making a complaint should the practitioner step outside of their association’s code of conduct. You can make your own enquiries about the community standing of the organisation or association. If the person is not a member of a reputable association it would suggest that they are not willing to adhere to certain standards of practice.
2. What was your therapy training and how long did it take?
A good counsellor or therapist does not stop his or her education simply when a qualification is achieved. Professional development must be ongoing. Some have likened the profession to a ‘lifelong apprenticeship’. If a counsellor or therapist gives you the impression they have ‘learnt it all’, they probably still have a lot to learn.
3. How long have you been practising?
This can give you a further idea of the psychotherapist’s experience.
4. What is your theoretical approach?
You might not understand psychotherapy to the same degree as the practitioner, but you can also do your own research about what approaches might best suit you.
5. How often do you have supervision?
Supervision for counsellors and therapists is not the same as supervision in a management situation. It means something completely different. It is about discussing professional issues in a structured way and ensuring the practitioner is taking care of their own well-being. It helps counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and social workers ensure their integrity and ethical practice. Counsellors and therapists in private practice will generally be paying for private supervision from a more or equally experienced person. The type and regularity of supervision should generally be in line with what is recommended by that practitioner’s professional association.
6. Do you offer a 50 or a 60 minute hour?
Also, how rigid are they in terms of time? Is sticking to a time limit something you will appreciate, or not? Some practitioners offer longer appointments as well. If you prefer a longer appointment, ask whether it is possible.
7. What do the initials after your name actually mean?
Again, it can help you when you do your own research to establish what these qualifications mean in practice.
8. Do you have insurance?
Uninsured practitioners should be avoided. Professionals will always hold appropriate insurance because it is a sign of their own confidence in their practice.
Report this post
You must be a HealthShare member to report this post.
to your account or
now (it's free).