First Steps

Understanding the role of a therapist?

A therapist should be someone who aims to understand your difficulties and what you want or need from therapy.

This understanding should emerge as they listen She actually listened, she had good listening skill to what you are saying and be developed collaboratively between the two of you.  Once you both have a shared understanding of your difficulties (which may take some time), your therapist should talk to you about how you can work on these issues together and develop a plan for therapy.  They should then help you work through your difficulties using this plan, although it may help to review this plan and how therapy is progressing at regular intervals.

A therapist should be trained in the type of therapy they are offering and have appropriate qualifications to demonstrate this. Since not all therapists and clients are ‘a good fit’ due to different approaches, personalities and circumstances, if you are paying for therapy you might find it helpful to go to a few different therapists for an initial session before deciding upon who you would be happy to see for therapy. If your therapy is being funded by a third party (e.g. the NHS) this may not be possible, but you are entitled to ask for another therapist if you are sure, from a first meeting, that a particular therapist will not be able to help you. 

The information you discuss with a therapist should be completely confidential. If you are receiving therapy within the NHS, it is good practice for your therapist to communicate with other NHS healthcare professionals involved in your care (e.g. your GP).  However, you should be able to see all such reports and if you wish, to request that sensitive personal information is withheld from the report. The only exceptions to these rules about confidentiality are likely to be if you or others are at risk of significant harm since the therapist would have a duty of care and may need to take action to reduce this risk. You can discuss confidentiality and any other concerns you may have about therapy at your initial session to find out the procedures your therapist follows.