Bringing a new life into the world is undoubtedly a profound experience, but it's also a journey that can be fraught with unexpected emotional challenges. Postnatal mental health can be a real concern for many new mothers, often causing feelings of inadequacy, sadness, and anxiety. The good news is that seeking help is a proactive step towards recovery. Whether you're based in Harrogate or looking for online support, finding the right counsellor can make all the difference.
1. Understanding Your Needs:
Before you begin your search for a Harrogate counsellor or online therapist, take some time to reflect on your specific needs and preferences. Do you prefer in-person sessions or are you more comfortable with virtual appointments? Would you feel more comfortable with a male or female counsellor? Is there a particular type of therapy you prefer? Identifying your preferences will help you narrow down your options and make an informed decision. It is quite normal if you don’t know what type of therapy you prefer, there are so many different modalities out there. However, research has shown time and time again, it’s not about the type of therapy but about how comfortable you feel with that counsellor. Do you feel you can trust them? Do you feel you could eventually tell them your most worrying thoughts? This is what will make therapy a success.
2. Research is Key:
When searching for a Harrogate counsellor or online therapist, a bit of research goes a long way. Start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals who may have experience with postnatal mental health. When you find a potential counsellor, whether it’s through a recommendation or through a search engine, have a look around their website, go to their Instagram or Facebook page and think, could I trust this person? Do I get a good feeling about them?
3. Look for Specialisation:
Though any counsellor will be able to support you, someone who specialises in postnatal mental health will have a unique understanding and approach. All their ongoing training will be geared towards helping you with your postnatal mental health. This is what they help people with day in and day out so whether you’re looking for a counsellor in Harrogate or online, seeking someone with this experience and specialisation could be beneficial.
4. Check Qualifications:
Frustratingly counsellors in the UK aren’t regulated which means technically anyone could call themselves a counsellor. This means qualifications a matter when seeking therapy. The best way to ensure your counsellor has the correct qualifications is to check through an official directory. Some of the best places to find a counsellor include:
One counsellor will not be on all these sites, however each of these sites verifies qualifications before allowing them to advertise. For example, you can see my directory listing here: https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellors/claire-judd and you can be safe in the knowledge that Counselling Directory have checked me out. Or you check the counsellors name on the membership bodies website that they say they are with. For example I am registered with BACP so you type my name in here: https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Register and it will show you that I am registered with them.
6. Initial phone call
Many counsellors offer a free 10 – 20 minute phone/online conversation. This is for a variety of reasons such as allowing you to tell them why you’re looking for a counsellor, for the to check that they are able to help you based on that, for you to ask any questions you might have and for them to talk through the next steps and arrange a first session if you both agree. Take advantage of these sessions to assess their compatibility with your needs. It's important to feel comfortable and understood by your chosen therapist.
8. Online Therapy Options:
If you're unable to find a suitable Harrogate-based counsellor, or if your circumstances make in-person sessions challenging, don't discount the benefits of online therapy. Many skilled therapists offer virtual sessions that provide the same level of support and expertise. If you decide to access counselling online, your counsellor will ask you to ensure you have a private space where you feel comfortable and won’t be interrupted, so that you can make the most of your sessions.
9. Trust Your Instincts:
Ultimately, the therapeutic relationship is built on trust and understanding. If you have a gut feeling that a particular counsellor isn't the right fit for you, it's okay to explore other options. Trust your instincts to find the professional who resonates with your needs.
Seeking help for postnatal mental health is a courageous step towards healing. Whether you're in Harrogate or searching for online support, remember that you're not alone in this journey.
Don't be afraid to explore various options until you find a therapist who resonates with you. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and with the right support, you can overcome the challenges of this postnatal period and beyond and embrace the joy of motherhood.
Counsellor in Harrogate and Online
Claire Judd is a fully qualified counsellor in Harrogate, working with new mums and their postnatal mental health. If you’re struggling, get in touch for a free 15 min call to find out how we can work together. You can book online here: https://www.clairejudd.co.uk/contact and can find out more about counselling for postnatal mental health here: www.clairejudd.co.uk.
Follow @therapy.for.mums on instagram for information, tips and advice.