How is your year going so far? I hope that you are finding it to be fruitful and blessed. On today’s blog I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with the team over at Counselling Directory. Counselling Directory is an online resource that directs the reader access to thousands of Counsellors across the UK. I’d like to find out more about them and find out their thoughts and advice on Counselling. Maybe counselling could be helpful to you as you continue to break old habits and find new ways of being at the start of this new year…
LJ: What are your thoughts on the current state of mental health in the UK today?
CD: According to Mind, the overall number of people with mental health problems hasn’t changed significantly in recent years, but concerns about things like work, money and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.
It’s been reported that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. While we will all be affected by mental health in some way, people are talking about mental health more than ever. With campaigns like Heads Together and Time to Change, awareness is increasing and as a result, more people are speaking out and seeking help. Finding support is a daunting process, but reaching out can really make a difference.
LJ: Can you tell the readers what the Counselling Directory is and what it aims to do?
CD: Counselling Directory is dedicated to supporting you on your journey, providing access to information and a network of professional counsellors. We are a team who know how important having the right support can be, and how difficult it can be to find. We know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and as though there is nowhere to turn, so our site is packed with resources, created with you in mind.
Our team is passionate about counselling and the benefits it can bring, and are keen to remind you that you deserve happiness too. On our site, you can find dedicated fact-sheets, expert articles, local events and blogs, as well as thousands of professionals located nationwide; ready to help you take your next steps.
LJ: How many people use your site to find a counsellor each year, or each day, or each month. Can you give us some stats around counselling and Counselling Directory?
CD: Counselling Directory, on average, receives 485,000 visitors per month. Over the last 12 months (Dec 2015 – Dec 2016) we have received more than 16 million page views and over 140,000 emails to members.
Our goal is to make a happier, healthier society and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. We want to help people get support and to not suffer in silence. There are several ways people can access counselling and our ultimate aim is to ensure our visitors are aware of all their options. The more informed people are about counselling, the more confident they’ll feel about taking that next step.
LJ: What would be your top tips to the readers who want to start the search for a counsellor? (3-5 would be great)
CD: There are times in life when we all need some support. While many of us can get this by talking to our friends or family, sometimes we need more. In some cases, it can be beneficial to speak to a trained professional, like a counsellor or psychotherapist.
Tips to finding a counsellor:
Understand where you are on your journey – are you wanting to learn more about your worries, or are you ready to find a counsellor and want to understand the process better? Wherever you are right now, information and help is available to help you on your way.
Do your research. With so much information available online, it can be confusing to know where to turn. Look online for information from reputable sources like the NHS. Our ‘what’s worrying you?’ section lists reasons you may want counselling and what techniques could help.
Find a counsellor you resonate with. Counsellors on our directory have profiles packed with information – who they are, how they work, areas of experience – so you can really understand what they can do for you. Once you’ve found a counsellor that ticks all the boxes, get in contact with them – they’ll be able to go over any questions and walk you through what happens next if you’re ready to take the next step.
Take your time. Do not rush in your search for a counsellor – take your time to read through our counsellor profiles. You can save the details of counsellors on our directory that you want to come back to later. Make sure you’re completely happy with the counsellor you’ve chosen – it’s OK to be demanding! When you’ve made your decision, simply send them an email or if you’re comfortable, give them a call to talk about what’s worrying you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have questions about anything, ask them! It’s important you’re comfortable with the counsellor and are ready for the next steps.
LJ: What if I find a counsellor on the directory that I don’t like or don’t find very helpful?
CD: If you’ve found a counsellor and decided they’re not right for you, it’s OK to stop seeing them and search for someone new. It’s so important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable to work with, which is why we encourage taking your time with your search – and, with counsellors based all over the UK, we’re sure you will the right fit for you.
LJ: How much does counselling cost? Is it worth the money? (Do you have any stats around the cost of counselling vs. the cost of being poorly…)?
CD: On average, expect to pay between £35 – £60 per 50-minute session, though the cost of a counselling session will vary, depending on a variety of factors including location and the counsellor themselves. Our counsellors will usually display their fees on their profile, but if you have any questions regarding cost, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you cannot afford private counselling, the NHS and certain charities/organisations also offer counselling, either for free or low-cost. This will depend on your individual needs but know that the option is available.
The number of sessions can also vary. While some people may only need one or two sessions, others may prefer a longer relationship with their counsellor. If your sessions come to an end and you feel you would prefer more, don’t be afraid to say. The counsellor will work with you until you are ready to stop.
We believe investing in yourself and your happiness is one of the best investments you can make. In a 2016 Time to Change survey, 60% of respondents with mental health conditions said they felt better after talking about their condition.
With that being said, we appreciate that not everyone can make this financial commitment. Everyone deserves access to support; this is why we provide charity listings and a wealth of free information – including certain events/support groups and helplines.
LJ: If people have been encouraged to try a bit of counselling, where should they go?
YouTube: Counselling Directory
Thank you to the Counselling Directory team for taking the time to answer my questions, it has been so helpful to learn more about what you guys do. I know this will be really helpful for people who are toying with the idea of counselling.
If you like what you’ve heard here, please do give this post a share in order to help someone,