The coronavirus and lockdown have added a whole new layer of difficulty to people's lives. As a result, you might be thinking about getting some counselling to help you through these challenging times. Here's a quick summary of things to consider when looking for a counsellor during lockdown.
How can I see a counsellor during lockdown? Due to lockdown, the majority of counsellors are meeting with their clients via video call (Zoom or Vsee are popular platforms) or telephone. These are free to the client as it is the counsellor who calls the client. Once face to face counselling is permitted again, I would expect most clients will be given the choice as to which method they would prefer to continue their counselling on.
How do I find a counsellor during lockdown?
There are many methods you can use to look for a counsellor.
1. Your company may subscribe to an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) of which staff counselling is one of the services offered.
2. You can go via the NHS which could mean visiting your GP first or self-referring by one of the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services.
3. Some charities offer counselling for those who access their services or fit their remit.
4. Alternatively, you might be interested in working with a counsellor who has a private practice. To find one, you can do a google search or take a look at the counsellors advertising on Counselling Directory or the BACP Therapist Directory.
5. Counsellors are also starting to use social media for their private practices and, as with all services, following their profiles can be a good way of understanding who they are and the services they offer.
For more information about how you can find a counsellor, check out this page on the MIND website.
How much will a counsellor cost during lockdown?
Counsellors usually have a standard rate for their work (often between £40 and £60) but I’ve noticed that some of them are willing to negotiate during this difficult time, so it's always worth making contact and having that discussion. Since lockdown started I've also noticed some counsellors offering discounted and lo-cost rates to NHS staff. If you can’t afford counselling, free counselling is available via NHS services and EAP services (if your employer subscribes to one). Some charities, for example the Leicester Counselling Centre, also offer free counselling, but be aware that some services may operate waiting lists.
How do I find the right counsellor for me?
Counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Different training backgrounds and qualifications, different modalities (the type of theories they're trained in) and different specialisms for example couples, bereavement and anger management. Generally most counsellors are able to work with issues relating to anxiety and depression. It's a good idea to do some research beforehand but like most relationships, it's only once you've connected in person that you'll be able to get a true sense of whether it's a good fit for you.
I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions about how you can find a counsellor in Leicester and Leicestershire during lockdown, please email me on email@example.com and I’ll be glad to help.