How To Select a Relationship Counsellor or Therapist in the UK

Making the right choice
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Selecting a Relationship Therapist or Counsellor in the UK

Your relationship is a most important part of you and your life. Therefore, it is important to select the right person to whom you will entrust this great responsibility.

Not everyone who calls themselves a counsellor have undertaken proper training as the title counsellor, therapist or psychotherapist is not protected in law. Unfortunately, anyone can use that title.

There are many highly qualified and experienced therapist who put their clients first in their practise. Unfortunately, some as reported in the media are not suitably qualified or experienced preying on vulnerable people.

Ensure a therapist who is a member of a governing body such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) or National Counselling Society (NCS).

These bodies set a minimum standard for training including knowledge of theoretical model of psychology, development and models of therapy. They are accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSAHSC).

Therapeutic Competence

Therapeutic competence includes building relationships, treatment planning and strategies.

Reflexive, ethical and competent practice is the foundation of counselling and psychotherapy. Monitoring through ongoing supervision maintains these qualities whilst supporting the therapist in doing their best for the client.

Working with couples is a different dynamic than working with individuals. There are interpersonal and developmental considerations that shape and impacts a relationship. Helping a couples to vocalise their individual feelings, perceptions and needs whilst being able to manage high emotions are a necessary competence.

Qualified counsellors are trained to work competently and safely with individuals. Look for additional training with a minimum of a certificate of couples counselling awarded from a reputable body.

Relationship coaches offer support for dating, intimacy, improving communication and life after divorce. With coaching however there isn’t any agreed minimum standard of training or ongoing supervision. When there is conflict, trauma, high levels of distress or depression in a relationship then couples counselling and relationship therapy is the most appropriate.

Selecting Who You Work With

It is worth contacting a number of relationship therapists and talking with them before engaging in couple’s work. Not all therapists can be a good personality fit with all clients. Select one you both feel comfortable with.

There is a sensible market rate out there. Look at suitable qualified therapists in your area to get an idea of what is reasonable. Going cheapest is not necessarily any better or worse but likely they are building experience. This in itself is OK, we all start from an ‘in training’, position and these therapists can actually be more attentive and careful.

Equally the most expensive does not mean better or more experienced although it might. Hype, jargon and pictures of happy couples might look appealing but it is still marketing.

There are a lot of caring competent relationship therapists out there you just have to look. Also, it is often surprising how many people you know have been to couples counselling in the past. If you can get a recommendation from others that can be helpful.

Engaging with the Counsellor

I work solely online with individuals and couples. It enables couples to reach out to me including where one or both are overseas or in different locations. For some online couples counselling it is more convenient as no travel or babysitting services are required. You can pick your therapist from a wider pool and within your price range.

For other clients online counselling doesn’t provide the required presence and atmosphere. So that face to face work with a local therapist remains the best option.

If you are reading this then you likely would benefit from a couple’s counsellor or relationship therapist. I urge you to take that first step and I wish you well.