At Cornerstone, we understand that there can be a great deal of worry, stress or anxiety around trying to find the right therapist for you, ironic really when the whole idea behind therapy is that it is supposed to help combat those very issues for those who experience them. Well we want to try and remove much of that additional worry from the process of selecting your therapist.
What should I look for when choosing a therapist?
This will often depend on your expectations of therapy. Some people will absolutely choose a therapist based on the fact they liked their profile picture on whatever counselling website they used. At Cornerstone this doesn't happen that often(!)
Is any therapist definitely qualified to help me?
Unfortunately in the UK, unlike Doctors or Solicitors, the titles of therapist or counsellor aren't protected, this means that anyone can decide to become a therapist and see clients straight away, there is no regulation against it. We don't agree with this. Any therapist who works for Cornerstone has to hold an active registration with an organisation called the BACP, they are a regulatory body for counsellors and therapists and their goal is to safeguard clients when it comes to working with a therapist who is registered with them. In order to gain registration with the BACP, a therapist has to undertake the following:
- 450 hours of learning on a BACP Accredited counselling course.
- Minimum 150 hours of volunteer therapy hours.
- Adhere to a strict ethical framework, ensuring that clients are well represented at all times in the therapeutic process.
Following registration, BACP therapists are required to:
- Re- register every 12 months, reconfirming active practice.
- Undertake continuous professional development every year.
- Actively engage in clinical supervision in order to be held accountable for their work.
- Continue to subscribe to the BACP Ethical Framework.
So even if you don't decide to embark on therapy with a Cornerstone therapist, we strongly recommend that you ensure your counsellor/therapist is a member of a recognised professional body, as this will ensure you are sat with a person who has been formally trained to walk with you through your 'stuff'.
Which type of therapy is right for me?
Our counsellors are known professionally as integrative therapists, we don't expect you to know what that means, and we won't bore you with the science behind it (unless you ask!) Essentially it means you can be confident that your therapist here at Cornerstone is trained in a variety of therapeutic methods, and will be able to tailor sessions with you so that your needs are met. Clients aren't all the same shape and size, so therapy can't be either!
One thing we can say is that we work relationally, we seek to hold our clients in unconditional positive regard with no judgement, and we seek to meet you in an empathic and focused way.
What should I do if I want to start therapy?
Well, you need to decide if therapy is going to be a safe place for you to explore whatever you have going on in your life at present. The only way you can do this will be by taking a risk, and making contact with a therapist. Here at Cornerstone, we've tried to make that an easy process for all clients.
You can make contact with us via the contact page on our website, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by ringing our 24 hour voicemail service on 01823 765065. If you have a specific therapist in mind you can of course leave your message directly for that person, and they will contact you within one working day (depending on the time you make contact, you may even find that we've come back to you a lot sooner). If you want to leave a general message, then we will contact you via the medium you contacted us.
We won't look to interrogate you over the phone, that's not what therapy is about. We will have a brief conversation about why you want to come along to therapy, and we will make plans to have an initial meeting to go over stuff in more detail. Once confirmed, we'll send you an email detailing your appointment time, address details, parking logistics, and explaining what you can expect in that first meeting.
What is an Initial Meeting?
Essentially this is a space where you can pop along to our therapy rooms in Wellington Town Centre and have a chat with us over a tea or coffee. It's informal, and helps us scope out how therapy could look for you, should you wish to go ahead. This initial meeting is free of charge, and normally lasts about 30 minutes. If you decide to come for more sessions after this, then we will spend some time working through our therapeutic contract. This contract is a commitment from us both to engage in good therapy work for you.
This handy diagram explains the meeting some more:
Can you tell me more about you?
Feel free to read the about us section on this site, there you will find some more information on Cornerstone, and us.
I still have some questions, and I'm not yet ready to formally contact you...
Thank you for visiting our site,
Chris, Nathan, and Gary