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How do I choose a therapist?

Choosing a therapist who is registered with a reputable body will provide you with a guarantee that they have completed a recognised training and that they have gained sufficient experience to be of help to you.  It will also give you the reassurance that they are working to a code of ethics.

BACP more

Reputable registration bodies are:

Once you’ve found a therapist registered with one of these organisations, arrange to meet with them and see whether you feel able to talk with them about your difficulties.

Does therapy work?

Yes.  Research shows that counselling and psychotherapy have a huge positive effect - greater than the average surgical or medical procedure:  Approximately 80% of people will do better after therapy than the average person who has not received therapy.


  • Caspi (2004) cited in Carr A. The effectiveness of psychotherapy: a review of research. The Irish Council for Psychotherapy: Dublin; 2007. 
  • Wampold, B.E.  The great psychotherapy debate: models, methods and findings. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum; 2001.

I’m thinking about starting therapy, but I’m worried about running into my therapist in the supermarket/a pub/restaurant/cinema etc.  I don’t want anyone to know I’m in therapy.

To protect your confidentiality, your therapist will not start a conversation with you in a public place.

If you do run into your therapist somewhere, it is likely to leave you with complicated feelings.  You might want to speak about the situation in your next therapy session.

I’m thinking about joining a therapy group, but I’m worried that I might turn out to know someone else in the group.  What happens then?

It’s important that you don’t have any prior relationships with others in a group.  If you’re interested in joining a group, we'll have at least two individual sessions together and we will use these two individual sessions to determine whether you might know another group member.  

If you do, that particular group won't be suitable for you.  You might be able to join another group or start individual therapy, instead.

Jersey is a small community, where everyone seems to know everyone else.  I don’t want people to know about my difficulties, or that I’m in therapy.  

I will not disclose anything you tell me, and I will not identify you as a client to anyone, except in exceptional circumstances - such as an immediate risk of serious harm to yourself or someone else. 

Therapy group participants agree to keep what is said within the group, confidential and not to disclose it to anyone outside the group.  Efforts are made to ensure that you have no prior relationship with anyone in a group, before joining it, and contact between group members outside the group is discouraged.

© Joanna Laurens 2012