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  • Writer's pictureAmber

Mental Health Matters: Our tips for seeking help

It’s 2021, we’ve all been stuck indoors socially isolated for some time and women’s safety is being discussed again, bringing back painful memories for many. More and more people are seeking therapy, so we've put together a little blog to help you look for a counsellor.

Many of the services mentioned are Norfolk-based but the advice is universal ❤

You've decided to seek therapy: where do you start?

There are different routes to therapy: NHS therapies; charity organisations; workplace therapy or private counselling.

NHS Therapies.

Usually, you would speak to your GP who would refer you, or you can self-refer via the wellbeing service. Be prepared for online courses, group work and waits before you see a counsellor. The NHS seems to prefer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), although this is not all they offer, depending on your problem.

If you are looking for therapy, you may not want to wait so what else is there?

Charity and community organisations.

These often focus a specific problem: addiction, eating disorders or sexual abuse for instance. Some charity’s services will be more generic. These kinds of organisations typically offer free or low-cost options.

Some local ones to Norwich:

Sue Lambert Trust – For survivors or sexual abuse

Eating Matters – For people affected by eating disorders

Emerging Futures – For people who have alcohol or substance misuse addictions (This has to be via a referral from Change, Grow, Live, Norfolk recovery service)

Off The Record, Mind, St Barnabus and The Village Orchard – these are all more generic, low cost counselling services.

Workplace Therapy.

Some places of work offer time limited counselling services to staff, if your company does then contact your HR person or whoever is reasonable for staff wellbeing.

Private Counselling.

Private counselling is often the quickest route to take, and easily accessible if you have the funds to pay for this yourself. You find a counsellor, arrange to speak to them and, boom, you’re in counselling. Of course, even with private counselling it isn’t quite as easy as that, so we’ve added a few top tips to help you find the counsellor who is right for you.

The very best place to start looking is the counselling directory - a list of counsellors, their specialities, qualifications and accreditations. It has a helpful facility of filtering the search, which will help you narrow down potential counsellors you might want to contact.

Our tips for finding the right fit in a counsellor.

Firstly, please remember that finding a counsellor or therapy option can be a very personal experience. Asking for recommendations from friends and loved ones may not always be the best approach as, just like any other professional relationship, your needs and personalities differ. That doesn’t mean talking about seeking professional help shouldn’t be discussed – it absolutely should, and hearing others’ experiences can be invaluable – but do undertake your own research and speak to counsellors or charities that speak to you and fit your needs.

Our tips:

1. Do they specialise in what you are looking for?

2. Do they have at least a Level 5 Diploma in counselling or higher?

3. Are the accredited by any regulatory bodies such as UKCP or BACP?

4. What is their counselling modality? (google this, research, it and see what you think).

5. Choose a couple of counsellors to speak to, make contact, ask them questions, get a feel for which one is going to be right for you.

6. Choose the one that feels right, if none of them do then contact some more.Counselling has to be the right fit for you to bring yourself and do the work

7. Usually, we say word of mouth is good but keep in mind that we are all different, so if (for example) your friend sees an amazing counsellor, your experience may differ because you are different person with different needs.

Good luck, babes.

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