Table of Contents
• Asking for Help
• Your Rights as A Client
• Setting your Expectations of Therapy
• Types of Therapies and Questions to Ask the Therapists
o Therapies that work with your mind
o Therapies that work with your energy
o Therapies that work both with mind and energy
o Therapies that work with the body
o Therapies that work with your environment
• A Final Note
Asking for Help
It is Okay to Ask for Help.
Face it, there are times when we all need a helping hand. We cannot do it all alone, and sometimes all you need is someone to validate your experiences. A professional therapist can help you truly let go of what you need to let go of, can celebrate with you how far you’ve come, can show you where you need to go next, and above all, they can be a great support to you on your healing journey.
Seeing a good therapist is an empowering experience, however in my years of experience as a therapist, I have had many clients come to me who have had bad experiences with other therapists, where they have been totally disempowered. I have come to believe that the only way we can move forward with this is through education – you, as a client, have a right to be treated well by your therapist.
Spending time Choosing the Right Therapist and Therapy is Important
Spending time researching potential therapists and therapies is the best thing you can do to ensure that you find someone who is a good fit for you.
My aim here is to give you information that will empower you to ask good questions before you make a booking, and to know your rights when it comes to therapy, so that you can make the right decision for yourself based on your own good judgment and intuition.
Many people decide to train in a specific therapy and become a therapist instead of actually going into process as a client. If you do want to become a therapist, you will become a stronger, more authentic therapist if you begin as a client and make a good start on your own work before beginning any training programmes. You will also gain the knowledge of what it is like to be a client, which enhances your personal skills if you decide to become a therapist!
You are Worth It
A session with a good therapist is an investment in your health. It might sound funny to have to say this here, but this is also important. Many people with self-worth issues don’t believe spending money on themselves is worthwhile. However, going to a good effective therapist is an investment in you. Believing that you deserve to be treated well may be part of your learning journey. I hope after reading this document you will se the value in taking the time to choose the right person for you. The cost to you if you don’t may be more than a financial one.
Honour your Commitment
If you have to cancel a session be sure to give your therapist plenty of notice. If you cannot make your session on the day of the booking, unless there is an emergency, expect that you will have to pay for your appointment even if you don’t show up. Ask your therapist what their terms and conditions are before you book just to make sure there are no surprises here.
Your Rights as a Client
What are your rights as a Client?
Ethics and integrity are key factors in the difference between a good therapist and one who has the potential to damage their clients, so once you have decided which therapy you want to try, a regulating body is a good place to start to look for your therapist. You can go directly to the regulating body if there is a need to make a complaint about a therapist, and they will look after the issue on your behalf. However, if an issue comes up between you and a therapist who is not affiliated to a regulating body, you may need to go to a solicitor or the ombudsman in order to make a complaint.
Please note: There are many good therapists who are not affiliated to regulating bodies, and being a member of a regulating body does not automatically make a therapist a good one. This is why I have created this document!! You need to use your common sense, do your research well and ask them questions similar to the ones I offer you in the next section before making your commitment.
What is a Regulating Body?
A regulating body is the place to go to find a credible, professional therapist in a specific field of work. A regulating body is a group or organisation that creates rules, standards and guidelines for correct practice. An example would be Irish Reiki Federation, English Reflexology Association or an Association of Holistic Therapists.
There are two types of Regulating Body - Statutory Regulating bodies, (run by the State or government), and non-statutory or self-regulating bodies, (independent bodies that run themselves). It is usually a long and difficult process to be listed as an accredited practitioner for a state-regulated body, self-regulating bodies are much less rigorous, but the standards may not be as high depending on who is running it. You will not find a state-regulating body for most therapies as the state doesn't tend to get involved in holistic work, however they do take an active interest in psychology and psychotherapy which is why I am mentioning it here.
The advantage of looking up a regulating body for a therapist is that you have a comeback as a client if something goes wrong. You also can have an expectation of a certain standard of practice from your therapist. If the rules for correct practice are not adhered to by the practitioner, you have a right to make a complaint to the regulating body and the consequences for the therapist may include investigation leading to being struck off the register of practitioners.
How do I find a Regulating Body?
If you want to find a register of practitioners for a particular therapy before choosing your therapist you can do a web search. Types of keywords you might use could be “Regulating body for Reflexology in Ireland”. Please note that looking up something like “register of practitioners for Reiki in London” could actually bring up a website where practitioners pay to be listed and is not covered by any regulation whatsoever. Do visit the websites you get in your search results and make up your own mind based on the information you find there. You can also look up a register of practitioners related to a specific school or college to find past pupils, which could be a good idea if a school you know of has a good reputation.
At the end of the day a good therapy session still comes down to your confidence in your therapist and the relationship between you, so the next section will give you some guidelines and give you questions to ask any therapist in advance of booking a session.
Setting your Expectations around Therapy
Before booking any kind of session it is useful for you to spend some time listing out your expectations around the session. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
• What do I want to change in my life?
• What can someone else help me with?
• What do I already know about myself/about this situation?
• What have I tried myself and did it work?
• Am I willing to change something in order to see some changes in my life?
• Am I willing to listen to someone who might tell me/show me something that I don’t like about myself?
Are you ready to do your work?
Be realistic – know that the therapist may be an expert in their field, but if you’re not ready to do the work, the work may not get done. For example, you cannot hire a personal trainer to do your sit-ups for you, although they can train you as to how to do the best sit-ups for your body type, you are the one that has to do the repetitions.
Have you given permission to yourself?
If some part of you isn’t ready to do the work, then you will be struggling with it. Again selfworth may be an issue here. Say to yourself “I give myself permission to heal” and see do you believe it 100%
Ask yourself if you’re willing to do whatever it will take to make the changes that you want to make. If the answer is no, that’s actually okay, it is knowledge that you need in order to grow.
Above all, don’t worry – if you know what your issues are you can bring them all with you into the session and work with them, rather than see them as unsurmountable.
Remember – a good therapist will challenge you, but they will not push you to go where you really are not ready to go. It’s up to you to set your own pace in your own personal journey work, and to know that you can say no to the therapist if you’re uncomfortable to proceed.