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  • Writer's picturebencrumpler

10 Considerations when it comes to Therapy/Counselling.

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

There are many lists like this and of course there are many similarities in my list, as they are generally well shared views.

Therapy or Counselling (however you prefer to refer to it, I often use the term therapy, simply as it is less of a mouthful) is a transformative journey that can empower individuals to navigate the different challenges of life and to promote mental and emotional well-being. Whether you're seeking therapy for the first time or want to approach things in a different way, it's nice to be informed about the process. In this blog post, I will explore ten important things to consider when embarking on a therapeutic journey.

  1. Define Your Goals: Before starting therapy, take some time to reflect on what you hope to achieve. Clarifying your goals will help you communicate effectively with your therapist and give them a clear understanding of what you're hoping to achieve. Whether it's overcoming anxiety, improving relationships/dealing with a relationship breakdown, or exploring personal growth, setting goals can guide your therapy experience.

  2. If you wish Research Different Therapeutic Approaches: Therapy encompasses various modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and more. Familiarise yourself with different approaches to find one that resonates with you. Each approach has its unique focus and techniques, so consider your preferences and specific needs. I personally utilise the person-centred approach integrated with a psychodynamic approach (because I feel it gives a good balance and works well for me as a therapist and for my clients). However, I feel the key is the therapeutic relationship and therefore finding a therapist you feel comfortable with is important.

  3. Find the Right Therapist: Following on from the point above, finding a therapist who is a good fit for you is key. Look for someone who feels a good fit for you and someone you think you would like to work with. It's essential to feel comfortable and safe with your therapist, so consider their communication style, values, and personality. I share in my about me section that I am probably less formal than many, I still have a serious approach to therapy but you are much more likely to find me in jeans and a t-shirt/hoodie than in a suit (in fact you won't find me in a suit).

  4. Confidentiality and Trust: Therapy is built on the foundation of trust and confidentiality. Understand the limits of confidentiality and how your therapist handles information. Knowing that your privacy is protected and that you can openly discuss sensitive topics creates a safe space for therapeutic exploration. In session I will explain the limits of confidentiality but it is only in very unusual circumstances (and that is only usually serious legal issues where life is at danger).

  5. Duration and Frequency: Therapy can be short-term or long-term, depending on your goals and needs. Discuss the anticipated duration of therapy with your therapist, as well as the recommended frequency of sessions. Consistency and commitment to attending sessions regularly can enhance the effectiveness of therapy.

  6. Financial Considerations: Therapy involves costs, and it's important to factor this into your decision-making process. Explore different payment options, such as insurance coverage, low cost counselling, or employee assistance programs. Don't hesitate to have an open conversation with your therapist about fees to ensure you can manage the financial aspect of therapy. I am quite honest insofar, as I also need to cover my costs and to of course provide myself a living. There are low cost options on my resources page and I myself do some work with charities but unfortunately there is much more demand than supply for these services.

  7. Cultural Sensitivity: Culture plays a significant role in shaping our experiences and beliefs. If you have specific cultural considerations, look for a therapist who is sensitive and knowledgeable about diverse backgrounds. A culturally competent therapist will be attuned to your unique experiences and help you navigate them effectively. I like to think I am open-minded and do not discriminate but if you have a specific need, then of course make sure you are happy the counsellor you choose will be appropriate. I am happy to answer any enquiries around this.

  8. Therapeutic Relationship: The therapeutic relationship is a vital aspect of therapy. It's essential to build a strong rapport and feel understood and supported by your therapist. Keep in mind that therapy is a collaborative process, and effective communication between you and your therapist is key to a successful outcome. In fact I would say that the relationship is a very big part of the process, so it is important to find a therapist you are comfortable with.

  9. Patience and Realistic Expectations: Therapy is not a quick fix but rather a gradual and transformative process. Change takes time, and setbacks may occur along the way. Be patient with yourself and the therapeutic process, and maintain realistic expectations. Openly discuss any concerns or frustrations with your therapist, whether that is me or someone else.

  10. Continued Self-Care: Therapy is just one aspect of your overall well-being. It's crucial to integrate self-care practices into your life outside of therapy sessions. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, self-reflection, and personal growth. Remember that therapy provides tools and insights, but it's up to you to implement them in your daily life. Or succinctly, look after yourself, you deserve it.

Conclusion: Embarking on a therapeutic journey requires careful consideration and preparation. By defining your goals, finding the right therapist, understanding the process, and cultivating trust, therapy can become a powerful tool for personal growth and healing. Remember to be patient, remain committed, and practice self-care as you navigate this transformative path towards improved mental and emotional well-being.

I think therapy is a fantastic tool and I hope you find a therapist that can really assist you, whether that is me or someone else.

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