Author Topic: Advice on Counsellors  (Read 2942 times)

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Offline Thrin

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Advice on Counsellors
« on: June 17, 2012, 12:40:16 AM »
Was just wondering if anyone had any advice on finding a counsellor outside of the NHS. I've had some very negative experiences going through the NHS when I was in much darker places than I am now, but I really feel that at the moment I would benefit from just having someone to talk to about the more unhealthy thoughts and feelings that I have. It's not so bad that I want to bother my GP, but I know I have some 'issues' that I really need to address. My problem is I have no idea how to find the right person for me, there appears to be a bewildering (and expensive!) array of counsellors out there with different specialities and I have no idea where to start.

Any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated.
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Offline Terri

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 12:56:42 AM »
Hey Thrin. :)


The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy have a website that's pretty good: http://www.bacp.co.uk/ It's got a section about seeking a therapist that might help to point you in the right direction.


Some therapists will offer you a free introductory session. It's usually a 30 minute slot where you can find out a bit more about how the therapist works and if it's going to suit you - it's a bit of a two way thing and is a good opportunity to try a few out.


I think it's important to find the right type of therapy as not everything suits everyone. I had Person-Centred counselling when I was at college (with a college counsellor) and, though it got me through my A levels as I had her to talk to every week, it didn't effect any long term change. It didn't do anything to challenge the unhealthy thoughts that I had towards myself, which was what was at the core of some of my issues. The counsellor tried to put a big focus on my childhood, which didn't work well for me as my childhood was pretty average (not perfect, but not horrific either). That said, I have a friend who had this type of therapy and it worked wonders for her.


The experience of counselling put me off therapy for a long time as it didn't do anything to change my thoughts and behaviours, but then I came across Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (through the NHS, but there are private therapists out there). Though it was extremely challenging, it worked wonders for my self-esteem. It taught me ways to challenge my automatic negative thoughts and how to put a positive re-frame on things. I liked how practical it was - there were lots of worksheets and written exercises that I could do. I also liked how it concentrated on the here and now rather than trying to find difficulties in my childhood that just didn't exist (as person-centred counselling had done). I still have issues with confidence and can be self-critical, but I'm more able to rationalise the thoughts now and when they pop up they don't hang around for as long.


I hope you find someone that you can work with. :hug2:
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Offline greenday

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 09:41:13 AM »
hi i just want to say good luck  :hug1:

Offline DawnArcher

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 06:25:13 PM »
Good luck.

I have just one piece of advice. If you get a counsellor who sits there and stares and waits for you to say something just get up and walk out. Don't bother paying.

I had a few experiences like that and that method of counselling is outdated and completely unhelpful.
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Offline Bea

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 08:15:33 PM »
Good luck.

I have just one piece of advice. If you get a counsellor who sits there and stares and waits for you to say something just get up and walk out. Don't bother paying.

I had a few experiences like that and that method of counselling is outdated and completely unhelpful.
I'll second that.  I found that method very unsupportive and got quite upset by it. 
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Offline unknown_member

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 09:19:25 PM »
I'll third that (if there's such a thing) not helpful and awkward...

is there anyone on the NHS that you know that could recommend someone? xxx
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Offline BA

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 09:55:52 PM »
I think it depends on how they pitch that approach. If they say nothing at all and later on are all 'mmm', 'yes', 'mmm', little to any feedback, then that can definitely be unhelpful. If they engage more and explain what they're doing...that's generally better.

I'd ask for their background, experience, qualifications, whether they're psychodynamic, integrative, etc. If any got defensive on those questions alone, I'd take my business elsewhere.
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Offline greenday

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 08:39:47 AM »
hay how r u  :1059:

Offline karatekez

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 09:44:34 AM »
Hello there.

I just wanted to say that I found a brilliant counsellor at my local MIND. He is really nice and listens as well as gives me feedback. He is free and see's me for an hour every two weeks, if I feel I need to see him sooner he always tries to slot me in. I have really crazy dreams and he even discusses them with me. If you need a counsellor try your local MIND, you may have to wait a while, but it's just one way.

Kez xx

Offline Thrin

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Re: Advice on Counsellors
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 02:17:31 AM »
Thanks all for the advice. What I've had before was person-centred, which helped with short term crises, but didn't help with the long standing issues I have. I'm a bit dubious about CBT, only because educationally I've studied it quite a lot and I'm a bit cynical about the fact that I know too much about it, if that makes sense. In that I feel I know too much about the mechanics of it so it won't work for me because I'll find it too easy to analyse it from an outside point of view.

I don't even know what speciality to look for, I mean there are quite a few who seem to specialise in self harm, but I'm not even sure if that's something I want to focus on. I mean, it's always just a reflection of another problem isn't it? Seems to be for me anyway even if it isn't for others.

It's trial and error I guess, at least I have a choice this time. Wish me luck :)
And this is not my face
And this is not my life
And there is not a single thing here
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