Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year can be difficult times for many people. We spend the holiday with family in a more intense way than normal and this can reveal strains, tensions and ruptures that we normally overlook or don’t like to admit in our daily lives.
Alternatively, we may have had a lonely time over the break and wished we had a partner or were in a more healthy relationship or realised our relationship is too toxic to continue.
The holiday may have given us time to reassess our current lifestyle and think that we will benefit from some changes. If we have that sinking feeling on a Sunday, then maybe it’s time to look for a new job or career? If we are feeling isolated working from home then maybe it’s time to get out networking or take up a new hobby, fitness or adult education class? Perhaps, if we are exhausted and realise we aren’t able to spend enough time with people we love then maybe it’s time to think about our work/life balance?
Sometimes it’s difficult to admit to ourselves that any of these things are affecting us. But it’s often even more difficult to talk about it with someone else.
how can therapy help me?
Counselling or psychotherapy is a perfect place to talk about your worries and concerns. It gives you space to say exactly what is bothering you, with someone who is objective and open-minded. A good therapist will give you time and space to untangle what is upsetting you. Often just getting the issue out of our head and into words is such a relief.
If you think that going to a qualified professional person will help you or someone close to you talk about what’s unsettling or upsetting you then I suggest you start to think about having some counselling or psychotherapy.
So How do you choose a therapist
who and what is the therapy for?
As therapy becomes more popular, an increasing number of people are going to their GPs for help and finding themselves on a very long waiting list. As a result, more people are choosing to find a private therapist. But with so many available it can be confusing deciding who to choose.
It’s worth spending time thinking about who and what the therapy will be for because you will need to find an appropriate counsellor for whoever needs it.
Is it just for you? We call that individual therapy. Or is it for you and your partner together? In which case you will want couples counselling. It may be for a child, young person or for the whole family.
You may also want counselling or psychotherapy for a specific problem. Maybe you are recently bereaved, in which case you may need bereavement counselling. You may want help with an addiction, or you may need support for your relationship. There are specialist organisations and therapists who work in these areas, and they may be a good place to start.
Here are some links to websites of organisations that may be useful:
there are so many therapists who should I choose?
There are many different types of models of therapy including: psychodynamic and psychoanalytical, cognitive behavioural therapy, humanistic, person-centred and integrative. It’s difficult to know which to choose. The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) gives a good summary of each type of therapy available.
Research has shown that no matter what model of therapy we choose, it’s the relationship between the client and the therapist that is the most important aspect of the therapy and the one which makes the most difference in progress over time. If we aren’t comfortable sitting in the room with the therapist, to begin with then it will be hard to trust and open up to them.
How Do I Choose A Therapist?
It’s important to get a feel for the therapist before you start working with them. Take note of how you feel when you research the therapist, talk with them, and meet them.
Is the therapist clear about what they offer and how they work?
When you meet them, do you feel you could trust them and talk to them confidentially? Most importantly do you feel listened to? Does it feel like they get you and understand your problem? Can you imagine yourself working with them?
Is the therapist clear about what they offer, what their fees are and how they work?
Unfortunately, currently, there isn’t one nationally recognised qualification pathway for therapists so it’s important to check that they are fully trained and qualified. Check that they are accredited with one of the main respected national umbrella bodies like BPC, BACP or UKCP.
what to do next
Make contact with them. Either email them or pick up the phone.
Book an initial session where you can meet. You can tell them a little about what is going on for you and why you are looking for therapy now and they can tell you how they work.
Don’t worry that you may be nervous. Starting counselling or psychotherapy is a big step. It’s totally normal to feel anxious when you first make contact and when you go to your first session. Just reach out to them and they will help you find your way to them.
Another relevant blog to read: