A short clip on the BBC describes how the terms ‘therapist’ and ‘counsellor’ are not protected and therefore you get many people offering therapy with sometimes as little as a few months or a year of training.
While you still need to thoroughly consider all therapists that you contact, it is important to find therapists through an accrediting body. These include the BPS and HCPC for counselling psychologists and clinical psychologists, and the UKCP and BACP for psychotherapists and counsellors, among others. It is also important to look for someone that is ‘accredited’, as individuals can be ‘registered’ with the BACP after only completing 150 supervised client hours. Accreditation requires the submission of case studies, a thorough demonstration of ethics and 450 supervised client hours which is still not a huge amount, but then you can look at what other experience they have gained, in what settings and with which client groups and you can even ask how many client hours they have done. I think it is important to find a therapist that has experienced their own personal therapy, so that they are acutely aware of their own worldview, values, biases, assumptions etc and work through their own unresolved issues and blindspots, so that these do not cloud the therapy and encounter and also continued supervision and CPD is a necessity.