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  • Writer's pictureAnneka Barrett

What type of Counsellor should I see?

So you think you may want to see a Counsellor? That in itself is a really big step. Now, how do you find the right one for you? How do you choose from the hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles out there?

What’s a CBT?!

What’s a Humanist?!

What’s the difference between a Counsellor and a Therapist?!

Fear not, I have the answers for you! In this article we are going to look at the three most common types of Counsellors out there to help you make the right choice.

Gone are the days of lying on sofas where a man with a bushy beard writes things in a small book behind you offering the occasional grunt. No no, there are no weird women with joss sticks chanting at you. Well, maybe there are, but we Counsellors are a surprisingly normal bunch, and we come in all shapes and sizes.

It’s also worth noting Counselling in the UK is a regulated industry. We go through rigorous training before we have the privilege of calling ourselves Counsellors..

So let's get to it! Firstly, there is no difference between a Therapist and a Counsellor. In the US, they tend to say Therapist, and here in the UK we say Counsellor.

Now, those three key types of therapy you’ll see advertised:


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy looks at challenging and changing unhelp behaviours, or ‘cognitive distortions’ to get technical. The idea is this will help you reframe your thoughts and feelings towards a problem you are struggling with.


Psychodynamic therapy looks at issues from a long term perspective and supports you to become more self aware by bringing what is unconscious into your consciousness. Think Freud here people! Often psychodynamic work looks at your childhood and early development, this is because a key part of the theory believes issues stem from childhood.

Humanistic or Person Centred:

Person Centred Counsellors believe that everyone has the ability for personal growth and the client (that’s you!), can find their own answers given the right support. They see themselves as your equal, walking beside you as you explore whatever it is that brought you to look at Counselling.

Is there one that sounds right for you? Maybe one that peaks your interest? If so, great, now you are on the right path to find your perfect Counsellor. If you are still thinking, ‘Anneka, I have no idea!’, fear not, studies have shown what is more important than the type of therapy is the relationship between the Counsellor and you. If you trust the person you are working with, and feel a connection, then that is more important than their training. So trust your gut, it’s going to lead you to the right path.

Interview any potential therapist, get a feel for them and shop around! You don’t buy the first pair of shoes you see, so why would you buy into the first Counsellor you speak to? Remember, you are paying them for a service. Feel empowered to ask them what it’s like to work with them. Most Counsellors, myself included, will offer a free 20 minute call so you can get to know each other a little before committing.

I hope you have found this snapshot of these three popular therapeutic methods helpful in your search for the right Counsellor. If you have any comments or questions leave them down below. Alternatively drop me a message at my site

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