Choosing the right West London therapist for you
A quick Google search will show a wide choice of counsellors and therapists in the W2 area of London. How do you figure out which one might be the most suitable for you?
A good starting point is to find those that offer a free, without obligation, first discussion. Then, of course, you will start to draw your own impressions based on the speed of response to your enquiry.
Basic questions to ask a prospective therapist in West London
You will have your own questions to ask, but I would recommend that these are amongst them.
How long have you been practicing?
Which professional organizations do you belong to, and do you have any other relevant qualifications?
How much do you charge and how long is each session?
How many clients have you had with similar circumstances to my own?
Do you work online or in-person?
What are your working hours?
Is all counselling the same?
There are several different kinds of counselling theory, and counsellors have taken different types of training, usually in keeping with their own personal philosophy.
My therapeutic approach is integrative which means I take from several principles and use them as appropriate to meet the needs of the client. The framework for working is less rigid than with a single approach and means sessions unfold organically and in an exploratory way as directed by the client. You can read more about how I work here
Is gender important when choosing a counsellor?
Firstly, in terms of the attributes needed to be an effective counsellor, gender is irrelevant. However, in my experience, gender plays a significant role when it comes to the selection process, although it may not always be entirely conscious.
Different people have different reasons for making gender an important factor in their decision.
Some clients might choose a therapist of the same gender because they believe that therapist will be able to understand their life experiences more completely.
Conversely, a client might choose a therapist of the opposite gender because of the difference, as a way to better understand an opposite sex partner, for example. You can read more about my thoughts on this here:
Is virtual counselling as effective as in-person?
The pandemic presented particular issues to therapists and their clients. People in most need of help were unable to access therapy services in-person. By necessity, online/virtual counselling grew quickly. The effectiveness of online therapy has been the subject of many studies since lockdown.
Findings suggest that virtual therapy can be just as effective as in-person sessions for most people with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I offer both in-person and online consultations. I know, and it is supported by many others, that online therapy provides a similar quality of care as in-person. However, not all clients will find that online therapy is suitable for them based on their personal circumstances and preferences.
Trust and developing a relationship with a therapist.
Asking the right questions will get you so far, but only once you begin working with me (or any other professional), will you know if an effective relationship can develop.
If you think you’re ready to start, contact me for an initial zoom consultation free of charge. Should we agree to work together, I will ask for you to commit to an initial eight sessions after which time we will reassess your needs.