- Make sure s/he is registered with a professional body such as BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), UKCP (United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy) or a chartered member of the BPS (British Psychological Society). If in doubt ask about her/his qualifications and check with the relevant professional body. If wanting to work with fertility issues, donor conception issues or involuntary childlessness, look for accredited membership of BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association)
- Make sure that the professional body that the counsellor belongs to has a complaints and disciplinary procedure and s/he is working to a professional code of ethics
- Ask for an initial two-way assessment session – remember, this is going to be an important relationship and it is worth waiting to find the right counsellor for you
- If you feel uncomfortable with a counsellor, trust this instinct and consider looking for someone else
- Sort out any pay arrangements at the outset
- Establish a contract – how many sessions, what are the review arrangements, cancellation fees etc?
- Talk to the counsellor – you can say anything you want!
- Be thoughtful and quiet if you wish
- Bear in mind that counselling is very rarely easy
- Expect changes, not miracles
BACP: www.bacp.co.uk (tel: 0870 4435252)