Find the Right Mental Health Counsellor in London: Expert Tips
It’s no secret that finding a mental health counsellor in London can feel like a daunting task. With so many options available, how do you even begin to search for psychological services?
And once you start looking, it feels like you’re on a rollercoaster ride- one minute you’re up, and the next you’re down. It’s hard to know who to trust, and even harder to find the right counsellor for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to search for a counsellor in London, and help make the process a little bit easier for you.
Make a list of what you need from a therapist
Everyone needs something a little different from counselling. So, this is a great place to start when you’re ready to start looking for mental health support.
Do you need a specialist counsellor?
Do you need someone who specializes in anxiety? Or are you looking for help with depression? Maybe you’re dealing with relationship issues, or struggling to cope with a recent loss. Once you know what type of support you’re looking for, your search will be much easier. For some of these things, it’s important to look for a specialist.
Will it help to have a counsellor with specific experience?
Sometimes, you’re not just looking for a therapist who specializes in a specific area of mental health, you may be looking for someone who understands a specific experience.
For example, if you’re an expat, you’re probably looking for a counsellor who understands what it’s like to live in a new country. Maybe someone who can normalize the loneliness & isolation you feel as well as give you tips for dealing with this unique experience.
Or maybe you want someone who is familiar with the Tube, if you’re having anxiety with around using public transportation. Once you know what you need, your search will be much more focused. The point being, that you’re looking for a therapist who has a specific type of knowledge (about being an expat in the above example or about London here) that you feel will make it easier to talk to them about your stressors.
Do you have other preferences for a counsellor?
Additionally, some people have other preferences when looking for a mental health provider. For example, maybe you find it easier to open up to a woman and would prefer a female therapist. Or maybe, you have a specific religion or cultural background that you would feel more comfortable discussing with someone who understands your culture.
If you work during the day, you might want to find a counsellor who offers evening or weekend appointments. Or maybe you’re looking for someone who has experience working with children. There are counsellors out there who specialize in all sorts of different areas, so it’s important to find one that meets your specific needs.
These are all valid preferences, and it’s important to find a counsellor who you feel “clicks” with.
Consider Your Location Within London
Another important factor to consider when looking for psychological services is location. If you live in London, there are counsellors all over the city- from Camden to Chelsea, and from Fulham to Notting Hill. Depending on where you live, it might be easier for you to travel to one part of the city over another.
Or…Consider Online Therapy
In this situation, you may consider looking for an online counsellor. There are many benefits of online counselling. For example, this can be a great option if you have difficulty travelling to and from appointments. Maybe you need to fit counselling sessions in during the workday but don’t have time to navigate the Tube or London traffic between sessions. Or, perhaps you live outside the city and don’t want to make the trip every single week.
Online counselling offers the same high-quality services as in-person counselling. And if your counsellor lives in London, you can still be sure that they understand the unique challenges that come with living in a busy city without having to worry about getting to their office regularly. And as an added benefit, you don’t have to worry about tube strikes and traffic making it difficult for you to get to your appointment on time.
Ways to Research Therapists & Counsellors in London
You may want to ask for recommendations from your colleagues or your GP. Or, you may Google “Therapist near me” (perhaps that’s even how you found this page!).
Regardless, once you’ve found a therapist it’s important to check their credentials. There is a wide range of mental health credentials for those who can provide counselling in the United Kingdom.
Meet with potential therapists to find the right fit
It’s important that you feel comfortable with your therapist. After all, you’ll be discussing some sensitive topics with this person.
Some people even meet with a few different therapists before you decide on one. This will give you a chance to see if you “click” with them, and to see if they are the right fit for you.
And when you meet with a potential therapist, don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s important that you find someone who you feel will understand you. You also want to feel like they understand the mental health problems you are facing and have expertise that can truly help. Most importantly, you want to feel like your therapist cares.
Consider Options Such as Group Therapy
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, or if you feel like you would benefit from group support, there are also options for group therapy in London.
You can find groups for all sorts of different topics- from anxiety and depression to grief and loss. In addition to saving money, there are lots of other benefits to group therapy such as it can help you feel not alone, other stories can be inspiring when you’re at your lowest and you may have ideas about how to handle a situation from other group members. While our stories might be a bit different, we often share similar experiences. And participating in group therapy is a great way to kind of widen your “team” that is supporting you as you face mental health challenges.
Begin Therapy with a Counsellor in London
If you’re feeling lost in the sea of mental health counsellors in London, don’t worry. Follow these tips, and you’ll be one step closer to finding the help that you need. And remember, counselling is an investment in your mental health. It’s a sign that you’re ready to make a change in your life, and that you’re committed to taking care of yourself. So just the fact you’re searching means you’re already on the right path to feeling better!
At Change Works, I offer therapy and counselling services to a wide range of people all over the world. I have historically seen clients throughout the United States as well as some expats in places like St. Kitts or Nevis. However, I recently moved to London and am excited to now be offering mental health support to people in London and throughout the United Kingdom.
I specialize in offering counselling for college students, expats, women’s issues, anxiety & insomnia (using CBT-I). So, if you’re looking for a counsellor in London and are interested in learning more about how I could help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.