There are a number of ways to go about finding a therapist:
You can visit your GP (General Practitioner, or doctor) and ask them to refer you to a local Sexual and Relationship Therapy clinic. You need to tell them a little bit about the problem in order to do this, but not all the details if you are not comfortable doing so.
You can find a private Sexual and Relationship therapist yourself by using our list of therapists to find a therapist in your area.
Whichever route you take you should always check out the therapist’s qualifications. Our accredited members have all completed a COSRT-approved course or an equivalent, and they must continue to meet our criteria for accreditation on an annual basis.
General Membership is a broad level of membership that includes therapists who may practice sexual, couple or relationship therapy. Those who are in training are included in this category, and this will be clearly shown in their individual listing.
All COSRT general and accredited members have signed up to our code of ethics and complaints procedure. Some COSRT members may also be registered with UKCP as a UKCP Psychotherapist or Psychotherapeutic Counsellor
It is perfectly OK to shop around for a therapist. This is particularly true if you are spending money to see a private therapist, but even in an NHS clinic, it’s fine to say that you would like to see somebody else – for example if:
- You would like a therapist of the same gender or cultural group as yourself, or who speaks your first language (although this isn’t always possible)
- You want a therapist who has an approach that fits your way of seeing things
- You have been with a therapist for a while but don;t feel that you’re getting on with him or her
It is important that you and your therapist understand and trust each other. Not every therapist will suit every client.
When getting a private therapist you might want to see two or three for an assessment before deciding on one to go for. Or you might phone up or email a few and ask them about their work. When shopping around for a therapist these are the things it may be useful to check:
- Their qualifications and experience
- What professional organizations they belong to
- What code of ethics they work to
- What approach they use