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Choosing a counsellor/therapist



Dec 29, 2009
Hi all,
I've been on Citalopram for over 4 weeks now for depression and if anything it's making things worse with regular bouts of suicidal thoughts and generally feeling worse than before I started. Although the GP has put me down as a priority for CBT I've still not got a start date.
Rather than sink down further I've decided to try and find some help outside the NHS and to try and get some private counselling. I suspect the source of everything is low self esteem and confidence issues (which have resulted in a car crash mess of a life) so my gut feeling is I need to go for something on the psychodynamic lines. I've tried humanistic/person centred before and while it was a positive experience I gave it up as it wasn't really getting me where I felt I wanted to be at the time.
Living in London I'm lucky in that there seems to be a lot of counsellors/therapists available but equally I'm a bit overwhelmed by the quantity of choice and the variety of approaches.

I was wondering what other peoples experiences have been with counselling to treat depression and what advice anyone has with regards to choosing and approach and a suitable counsellor?



Well-known member
Jan 8, 2010
Hampshire UK
Hi TimB

I would agree that looking for a counsellor can be a mind field. As someone in the know about counselling I can offer some words around my own experiences. There are many models out there and it depends on what you want. I know that I saw a great counsellor once who knew and would spout theory till the cows came home but all that did was for me to avoid the feelings, but going the other way and just dealing with the feelings didn't help me either because I need to latch it to theory. I needed a happy medium. Don't get me wrong they were both good counsellors but not suited to me!

I guess what I am trying to say is that all theories have their benefits and can be helpful but I am a great believer in two things. It depends on how you interact together with your counsellor, it is about the relationship. You must be able to trust them for you to be able to open up to them, if the relationship isn't there then it will be harder to do the work that is required. Secondly it is about how much you are prepared to give of yourself in the session, at the end of the day it will be you doing alot of the work with your counsellor facilitating you to gain the understanding and clarity you need to make the change you desire.

My suggestion would be to shop around. There are alot of good charitable agencies offering cheap counselling or you see someone private. But perhaps try them out and see how you go - hopefully you will find the right one for you.

You could also visit the BACP website www.bacp.co.uk which is very helpful in helping to find a counsellor or therapist. For peace of mind I would choose someone who is BACP or UKCP registered - this is like a Corgi registered electrician - if ensures they are qualified to a
certain level and work to a code of ethics that protects you and them

Good luck with your quest(y)

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