Friday, 3 November 2017

Why Finding The Right Counsellor Is Like Dating

Why Finding The Right Counsellor Is Like Dating mental health illness depression anxiety help support

I find it really strange how counsellors, therapists, psychologists or whatever you care to call them, know everything there is to know about you, yet, you know nothing about them or at least very little about them. I don't know about you, but the more I think about it, the weirder that is. 

It's also kind of strange that you could have a therapist, who you don't really connect with, yet see them most weeks. If you've ever been through therapy, you will know that in the first session they will often ask you if you want to keep working with them. If you're anything like me, polite and incredibly British the mere thought of turning them away is scary. 

So you keep on seeing them because you feel obliged to. I would love to know if anyone has ever had the guts to say, nah love, I don't want to work with you anymore because I reckon that would take pure courage to do such a thing. The more I think about how odd counselling is, the more I realise the strange similarities between finding the right counsellor and dating. 


Like finding the right partner, finding the right counsellor can take a lot of trial and error. Kind of think how unlikely it is that you will go on to marry your first ever boyfriend or girlfriend, pretty unrealistic. 

If you find a counsellor first time around that works for you, I think you are part of a very fortunate minority. Most people, it takes two or three attempts before they find the right therapist. Going around the system a few times takes AGES. Which is why it takes most people years before they get to the point of recovery and stay in recovery. 

I think a connection with your counsellor is so necessary like it is when finding the right partner. If you can't relate to each other or communicate properly, you're not going to get anywhere. You need to be able to talk openly and honestly about your struggles with a counsellor or therapist otherwise you probably won't get the most out of the sessions.

Why Finding The Right Counsellor Is Like Dating mental health illness depression anxiety help support OCD panic attacks

Communication is key, like when dating. You need to be able to talk to each other when you are experiencing problems. Like, in counselling you need to be honest so you can get to the root of the problem. There is often an underlying issue or event that has to lead to your mental health problem which needs to be revisited and discussed. 

I guess in short what I'm trying to say is that finding the right counsellor or therapist can be hard work. When you're first starting out in therapy, you may be feeling optimistic or positive about these new steps you are taking. However, if the first counsellor you are given isn't your cup of tea, don't be disheartened. Like they say in trashy rom com movies there is plenty more fish in the sea. 

Secondly, you should never settle for second best. If you're not getting on with your therapist or you don't think it's working out, see what can be changed. It's your mental health at the end of the day. You deserve the best possible care there is. 

I know this is much easier said than done but I strongly believe that a key to recovery is having a good therapist who you can relate to, someone who is easy to communicate with and listens to your problems in a non-judgement and understanding manner. If this kind of care is not being received or you are just not clicking with them, make a change. 

Talking about therapy or counselling can seem overwhelming for a lot of people. When anyone said therapy to me before I started, a stereotyped picture of a long black couch with a grey haired man smoking a pipe comes to mind. That's just not the case. Which is why I used the analogy of dating in this post. It's a concept most are familiar with that seems less daunting than having your first counselling session. 

I would love to know your thoughts on finding the right counsellor in the comments below, was it an easy or hard experience for you? 

Thanks for reading, as always X

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3 comments

  1. This is such a good way of looking at it- go you and your creative mind!! I'm also loving your flatlays; gorgeous as always xx

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  2. Hi Nicole, loved this post and luckily for me I found finding a counsellor very easy. Been with the same counsellor since the beginning which is just over a year ago, I get on well with him and he certainly understands me well. First counsellor and that makes me so lucky, he's even told me a bit about his upbringing and i can relate. I seek counselling privately as was unable to get support on NHS.

    Jessica People

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