In my book ‘Do I Need to See a Therapist?!’ I have put together a list of all the therapy directories I could find that offer a place to search for counsellors and psychotherapists. I plan to link to this information on here once the book has been published but for now these are the main therapy directories that I personally use if a friend or family member asks me where they should go to find a therapist. I do not endorse any of these therapists myself or the sites, but I use them to check therapists against my own personal criteria. The first place to go is usually to your GP who can let you know the options for NHS Therapy. For private therapy, this is what I look for:
Qualifications: I look not just for the specific mode of therapy but also the previous training and background that the person has. I also look for the blend of therapies that they use, years in practice and that they don’t make over-inflated claims about being able to help everyone with any problem. As far as I have found there is no ‘magic’ therapy that can help with every issue and this is the reason why we have such a vast range available. Yes, evidence-bases are important but we have to remember here that this does not always give us the full story. For research purposes some clients are excluded from studies if they have certain symptoms and so we have to be open-minded even about what ‘evidence-based’ means.
Accreditation and Registration: I look for the therapist to be accredited or registered by a recognised therapy organisation such as the National Counselling Society (NCS), United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP), British Psychoanalytical Council (BPC), National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP) or the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). For example if a listing says that the therapist practices CBT then I look for Accreditation by the BABCP. You can check that a member is accredited by using the CBT Register and putting the person’s name into the right hand search box (the left search box is for premium listings which not all therapists pay for but if they are accredited by the BABCP they will appear in the right hand box if you search for their surname). It is important that they are registered/accredited by one body, it doesn’t have to be more than one. I just want to know that there is a body that they are accountable to and whose code of conduct the therapist signs up to.
Therapy bodies: Therapy bodies usually have directories that you can use to search for a therapist. In my book I have put together a list of all of the bodies I could find in the UK where you can find a therapist who is registered and/or accredited by that particular body. These are the ones mentioned above but there are many others:-
Private Directories: In my book I have researched every directory that I could find and assessed them against some core criteria. Therapists pay to be on these directories and so it is unlikely that you will see the same therapist on all of them. So don’t be worried if you don’t see your chosen therapist on all of the sites. Here are two of the main directories:
Counselling Directory: https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb