Resources and Self-Help MaterialLocating a counselling service or a therapist
Once you've decided that counselling may be helpful, finding a suitable therapist can be a bit of a minefield; where do you find one other than surfing on the net?
A first port of call could be your local GP. Many surgeries provide their own counselling service free of charge, usually a limited number of sessions, and where necessary they can also refer onto the relevant NHS mental health service (psychotherapy, psychiatry, etc). They can also offer longer-term psychotherapy, but there is very often quite a long waiting list.
Some employers offer their own Employee Assitance Programme (EAP) which will again offer short-term counselling (usually around 6 sessions) as part of your employment package. Check with your HR department to see if this could apply to you.
Some larger towns and cities have their own Counselling Services which are based in the charitable sector; local ones in my area are the Nottingham Counselling Service and Mansfield Counselling Service. There are also other problem specific services like ISAS (for people who have suffered sexual abuse) and for children who have suffered loss there is the Nottinghamshire Child Bereavement and Loss Service based in Newark.
If you are wanting a more flexible approach, then approaching the private sector could be your option.
Word of mouth recommendations are usually a good bet - if a friend or relative has received counselling from someone and they've found it helpful, then you know you can have a degree of trust in the therapist's work. But it doesn't always follow that the way they work will suit you too.
Reputable therapists tend to be members of and be accredited by their particular professional body, e.g. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Both these bodies offer a 'Find a Therapist' Service on their websites
Counselling is not only about offering support but also offering the opportunity to make changes in your life - the way you see things, the way you do things, the way you interact with others. Before change can happen, we have to become aware of what it is that is not functioning as we might wish; sometimes this awareness can come from feedback from friends or relatives, sometimes it can come through reading a book and noticing that you see yourself in the reference.
Bibliotherapy has been recognised as a useful tool in the process of change and in my practice, I encourage clients to engage in some reading alongside the therapy. It's something you can do before therapy too. Below is a list of titles that my clients have told me they have found useful in gaining not only awareness, but also support in realising they are 'not alone' in feeling the way they do. They're arranged in subjects, but some books overlap in their content and usefulness. Most of the books can be ordered from your local library or purchased from Amazon. To visit Amazon just Click here.
Overcoming Irritability and Anger by Will Davies
Managing Anger by Gael Lindenfield
The Dance of Anger by Harriett Goldhor-Lerner
Anorexia Nervosa: A survival Guide for Families, Friends and Sufferers by Janet Treasure
Overcoming anorexia nervosa by Christopher Freeman and Peter Cooper
Overcoming Anxiety by Helen Kennerley
Feel the Fear and do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
A Woman in Your Own Right and The Mirror Within by Anne Dickson
Women who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood
Super Confidence by Gael Lindenfield
The Assertiveness Workbook: how to express your ideas and stand up for yourself at work and in relationships by Randy J. Paaterson
Living with Loss by Liz McNeill Taylor
The Courage to Grieve by Judy Tatelbaum
Bulimia Nervosa & Binge Eating by Peter Cooper
Overcoming Binge Eating by Chris Fairburn
Getting Better Bite by Bite by ulrike Schmidt & Janet Treasure
Overcoming Depression by Paul Gilbert
Mind Over Mood by Dennis Greenberger & Chrisine Padesky
Stop Thinking and Start Living by Richard Carlson
The Feeling Good Handbook
How to Cope when the Going Gets Tough by windy Dryden & Jack Gordon
Emotional Confidence by Gael Lindenfield
Families and How to survive them by Robin Skynner & John Cleese
Head Injury: A Practical Guide by Trevor Powell
Stop Worrying About Your Health by george Zgourides
The Dance of Intimacy by Harriett Goldhor-Lerner
The Mirror Within by Anne Dickson
Overcoming Panic by Derrick Silove
Understanding Panic Attacks & overcoming Fear by Robin Baker
The Dance of Connection by Harriett Goldhor Lerner
Moving On by Suzie Hayman
Starting Again by Sarahy Litvinoff
Sex in loving relationships by Sarah Litvinoff
The Relate Guide to Better Relationships by Sarah Litvinoff
Overcoming traumatic Stress by Claudia Herbert & Ann Wetmore
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem by Melanie Fennell
The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns
Self-Esteem for Women by Lynda field
Self Esteem by Gael Lindenfield
Strong at the Broken Places by Linda T Sandford
Toxic parents by Susan Forward
Breaking Free by Carolyn Ainscough & Kay Toon
Cry Hard and Swim by Jacqueline Spring
Beginning to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davies
The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davies
Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness by Gillian Butler
The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Davis, Robbins, Eshelman & McKaay
Managing Stress: Teach Yourself by Terry Looker & Olga Gregson
Managing Stress by Terry Looker & Olga Gregson
How to Stop Worrying by Frank Tallis
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy