Counselling Service

Counselling services are available for any situation you can imagine: school issues, credit problems, marital woes and substance addiction concerns are just the beginning. But with so many different services available offered by both companies and individuals, it can be difficult to ensure you're choosing a qualified counsellor.

First, decide on the type of counselling you desire. This may sound obvious, but knowing what you need isn't always clear-cut. Many issues have a deep-rooted cause. For instance, people with debt issues sometimes find that while debt counselling helps initially, a need for material security is actually the cause, and counselling for that will help them avoid getting into debt again.

Once you've decided on a type of counsellor, decide if you'd rather seek someone in private practice, or with a group. Groups offer the flexibility of multiple available counsellors, so if your first choice doesn't work out or you eventually need to change, you simply select another counsellor.

Some groups offer counsellors with different specialties. For instance, one group might have a debt counsellor, marriage counsellor, and other types available. Other groups specialise in one type of counselling, like psychotherapy, and may offer the assistance of several counsellors, but only in that one area.

Private-practice counsellors work out of their own office, or sometimes with a partner. A single counsellor offers a more "personal" touch that some people feel isn't obtained in a multiple-office setting. However, if you decide to change counsellors at a later date, then you'll have to begin your search anew for counselling services.

Once you've narrowed down your list of potential counsellors, ask about their credentials. There are many different professional organisations to which a counsellor can belong; a qualified counsellor will not only possess a good background education, but will seek out education and training on an ongoing basis.

Consider beginning with the UKRC, or the United Kingdom Register of Counsellors. This organisation holds registered counsellors to a Code of Ethics and Practice, and ensures that they remain accredited through one of several organisations. A counsellor may not be shown on this list without meeting UKRC qualifications, as well as being open to a complaints procedure, should issues arise at a later date.

You'll probably want to select counselling services near your home or office. Make it as easy as possible on yourself to see your counsellor. Don't give yourself any built-in excuses for skipping a session. It's an easy trap to fall into, but won't do you any good in the long run.

Once you have your list of potential candidates, ring them up. Ask about office hours, how long they've been in business, what other credentials they might have. You may find a counsellor who can also prescribe medications, if needed. Or they may refer you to your family physician. These are things you need to know now, so you're not surprised later.

Don't stop your search until you find a counselling service that suits you perfectly. This is more serious than shopping for dry cleaning or groceries, it is essential to do some research.
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