BACP Therapy Today journal article on clinical supervision (October 2020):
Read it here
BACP Private Practice article on practitioner self-care (June 2018):
Read it here
Blog article for 'Self Care Psychology' website on practitioner self-care (2019):
Read it here
My Top 10 tips on getting professional help with emotional distress:
"1 in 4" is a well known statistic, meaning that one in every four of us - you and I, our friends and family will experience mental health issues, it is far more common than people like to think. So when this happens, what do we do about it? Ignore and hope it goes away? Tell the family member or friend to "cheer up" (which is akin to telling someone with a broken leg "just get up and walk"!) There is great deal of help out there but how do you know what to look out for? As a first port of call I would always recommend that someone seek advice from their GP. But for those looking for "someone to talk to" here are my top tips:
Seek professional help - a counsellor/psychotherapist can be far easier to talk to than a family member or friend.
Ask for personal recommendations of therapists or visit www.counsellingdirectory.org.uk which is a search engine to help you find a counsellor/psychotherapist in your area. Which picture/profile information are your drawn to?
Check their qualifications, a 12-week counselling skills course does not make a counsellor! Good counselling & psychotherapy training will have taken a number of years. Look for a minimum of diploma level and above (degree, masters, doctorate for example).
They should be on the professional register for counselling and psychotherapy, and ideally accredited with a professional body - BACP/UKCP. This should mean that they practising ethically, be experienced and have completed a number of years/hours of therapy.
Find out how long they have been in practise and what their areas of interest and expertise are - so you can start to think about whether they are the right therapist for you.
Meet with them so you can get a sense of how they work. A good therapist will help you open up and be the person that you feel you'll be able to share your feelings/fears/hopes and secrets with. The quality of the therapeutic relationship is key to making a positive change.
Beware the promise of a 'cure'. There is no magic wand or a crystal ball. Unfortunately.
How much?! Private therapy can be costly with most counsellors/psychotherapists charging around £40-£60 per hour. Some may have negotiable fees, so don't be afraid of asking for a reduced fee.
There is rarely a quick fix. Counselling and psychotherapy can take months and even years in some cases, so have a think about the timescales you have and what you want to achieve. A good therapist will help you work out what can and can't be done in the time you have.
Be prepared to do the work! Some clients believe that 'it is the therapist that does all the hard work', wrong I'm afraid! In my experience the clients that have made the most positive changes have been those that make the most of their session time and take apply 'in the real world' it to their thinking, feelings, and relationships.