Choosing a Therapist

When choosing a therapist, it is more important to find someone you feel you can trust, than someone who is an expert in a particular field. We would suggest you talk to a few therapists so that you can make the right choice for you.

Your NLPtCA therapist will be insured as a requirement of membership of our organisation. You can expect them to ask you about your current problem, any medication that you are taking, and whether you are seeing your GP or a Hospital Consultant for anything. If you are being seen by a doctor for a problem that is relevant to the reason why you are seeking therapy, they may also ask for a letter from your GP or Consultant.

I’d be frightened of asking questions…

If you were thinking of buying a car you wouldn’t dream of not asking questions. Your mental and emotional health is even more important. The more information you have, the more likely you are to know that you are making the right choice.

I’m not sure what to ask…

Ideally request an initial session when you can ask the therapist various questions (see box). You can take a written list of questions with you, or you could ask the questions over the telephone. If you find that you are not happy with any of the responses then you have every right to say you do not wish to proceed.

What will the therapist want to know?

The therapist will want some idea about the kind of issues you wish to talk about. They should be trying to establish whether the type of therapy they offer is appropriate for you at this time in your life. If it is not, the therapist may refer you to a colleague more suited to your needs.

I don’t want to become dependent on a therapist...

Clients sometimes develop strong feelings of dependency on their therapist, although this rarely happens with Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapy because it is a brief therapy. If it does happen, and it is handled properly, this will be a temporary state, and the therapist should understand this and help you manage it.

Discuss any fears of dependency with the therapist who will know how to deal sensitively with this.

How much do people charge?

Fees do vary. Trainees charge less and some therapists operate a sliding scale so that people on a low income are not denied access to help.

Do I have to work with a therapist on my own?

Most NLP therapy is offered on a one-to-one basis, although some therapists do offer couple therapy or group work.

How do I know if it is working or not?

You may like to keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings so that you can judge your own progress. Different people will progress at different rates; so will different therapists, so avoid comparing yourself with other people. 

It is not unusual to feel worse before you feel better. This needs to be discussed with your therapist so that you can consider how to handle difficult feelings as they arise. NLP Therapists have, as a principle, a desire to leave their client in a better or equal state to the one they arrived in, so it is not right for you to leave a session feeling humiliated, unheard or used.

What if I’m still not sure?

Trust your instincts. Do you feel comfortable? Does their way of working suit you? Would you prefer a man or a woman? Do you want to work with someone your own age, or older or younger? Is it important for you to find someone from a similar culture or social background? Do you feel safe with them? Can you imagine yourself talking to them about personal details?

Remember: the therapeutic relationship is for your benefit.

Questions you could ask:

  • What are your qualifications?
  • Do you have a qualified supervisor to discuss your work with?
  • Which professional bodies do you belong to?
  • For how many years have you been practising?
  • How long is a session?
  • How often are sessions held?
  • What do you charge?
  • Is there a cancellation fee?
  • Is it a totally confidential service?
  • When might confidentiality be broken?
  • What arrangements do you make for record keeping?
  • Have you been in therapy yourself?
  • How long might the therapy last?
  • How does therapy end?

The idea of seeing a therapist still worries me...

Good therapists will be aware that you may feel anxious about seeking their help. It is their responsibility to make sure you feel safe and understood. They will appreciate that you may need to talk about your fears before doing any therapeutic work.

I don’t feel safe with my therapist...

If you are concerned your therapist may be crossing boundaries, look out for these warning signs:

  • Therapist talks much more than you.
  • Uninvited home visits.
  • Close physical contact without consent.
  • Inappropriate questions about your sex life.
  • Unpredictable behaviour.
  • Threats or threatening gestures.
  • Insisting on their own way.
  • Making you doubt your sanity.
  • Therapist says too much about their personal life.
  • Sessions often go overtime.
  • Usual fees are waived.
  • Therapist arranges to meet you socially.

If you feel unhappy with the way your therapist behaves, don’t put up with it. Talk to someone who will believe you, understand and offer support. 

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