Choosing a Counsellor
There is no one method or body of Islamic counselling and with so many people now offering Islamic counselling it can be over whelming. Sadly some of these individuals who have little to no experience and advertise their services are not only hurting the professional industry but can seriously effect a client’s health by doing more harm than good thus putting a client off counselling and from seeking any further help.
Counselling sessions – Stay away from organisations that advertise sessions up front for example the more sessions you take the more discount you get. For one they don’t know how many sessions and individual or a couple should have. You should ask for an initial assessment which would determine, your circumstances and the number of sessions. It normally takes 4-6 sessions before you realise any progress has been made.
Qualifications – Currently in the UK anybody can call themselves an Islamic counsellor, marriage coach, Islamic coach, life coach even if they have no counselling qualifications. Courses themselves range from a brief introductory course to a two or three year course study. You may want to ask about a counsellor’s qualification. Are they a member of a governing body? Was their course approved by a governing body?
Membership of professional bodies – You should choose a counsellor who is a member of BACP or UKCP. Both bodies have minimum standards that their members must satisfy with BACP being the most important professional organisation for accreditation as a counsellor. They also have an ethical framework that members have to adhere to. Other organisations are not as stringent in their requirements.
Insurance – All professional counsellors need liability insurance. It’s advisable to avoid those who don’t have this.
Convenience – To build a relationship with your counsellor you’ll probably be attending weekly sessions, so you might want a counsellor you can travel to easily or perhaps telephone/ Skype counselling might be more convenient? Also check out parking – you don’t want to hunt for parking space.
Flexibility – Some counsellors are very flexible about appointment times, changing appointments etc. Some are quite rigid about such things as they may see this rigidity as a part of the whole process. Select what suits you.
Cancellation or missed appointment – All counsellors/organisations will charge you if you miss an appointment. Check with them to see how much notice you have to give them without being charged? Some ask for 24 or 48 hours’ notice.