How to Choose a Counsellor
RECOGNISE that it’s OK to shop around to find the right counsellor for you.
There are many different counselling approaches and services available. Not all will be appropriate for your therapy needs and goals. The most important thing is to connect with a counsellor who makes you feel safe enough to journey through the issues for which you are seeking therapeutic support.
DECIDE how far you are willing to travel for counselling support.
Would you prefer face-to-face counselling or would you like the option to engage in counselling via phone, chat or video-relay links (e.g. Skype)? Would you like to work with someone local to your home or workplace or would you prefer to connect with a counsellor who is less local to you?
ASK whether a prospective counsellor is registered with a professional association.
Most professional associations will require members to have recognised qualifications, to maintain a specific level of professionalism and to be accountable to the association’s Code of Ethics. The association will usually have a complaints process that can be accessed by clients who feel that they have not been treated professionally by association members.
QCA-registered practitioners are required to hold a counselling degree (bachelor or post-graduate) and to engage in ongoing professional development and counselling supervision. They must also hold professional indemnity insurance as a protection for both themselves and their clients, and adhere to QCA’s Code of Ethics at all times.
CHECK whether counselling is covered by your private health insurer and whether the practitioner can offer a health fund rebate. ASK about fees and payment options.
Whether or not a rebate is available, you are responsible for meeting the cost of counselling services. Fees and payment options do vary across counselling services so make sure you know what they are.
USE the Find A Counsellor tool to search for PACFA-registered counselling practitioners.