The BAATO network seeks to reflect the many who are committed, passionate and actively engaged in addressing, the psychological needs of Black and Asian people in Britain.


Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully the following will demystify what a therapist does, what to expect and making the initial contact.

I've got lots of friends whom I can speak to, why will a therapist be different?
I thought only "crazy" people went to counseling and therapy
What should I expect when I go to see a therapist
What are my rights as a client
How do I make the initial contact with a therapist
How much will it cost?
What do therapist's qualifications mean?

I've got lots of friends whom I can speak to, why will a therapist be different? Top

Talking to friends and loved ones can be very supportive and it's great if your problems are sorted out in this way but sometimes it is difficult for people we know well to be objective and honest because of their feelings for us and of their roles in our lives. You may be reluctant to share certain aspects of your life with them or you may be concerned about overwhelming them with your problems. Further, our family and friends cannot recognize the type or seriousness of a psychological problem nor the best way to help us cope with it. Talking to a trained professional can provide the outside perspective you need to understand where you are stuck and how to take steps to get better.

I thought only "crazy" people went to counseling and therapy… Top

Many people come to therapy, including those who do not have a mental illness. Everyone has problems at one time or another and most people come to a point where they are not able to find a solution to their problem on their own. Not being able to find a solution to one's problems does not mean you are "crazy." It means you are human.

What to expect when you go to see a therapist Top

You can expect your therapist to listen to your experiences and ask you pertinent questions about your life. Your therapist will probably ask you some questions about your background, including your family and your relationships with others. The therapist will also ask what you hope to get out of therapy or what your goals are. Most people come to therapy once per week for 50/60 minutes.

Therapists are individuals, so their style will vary from person to person. However there are some things that you can expect from every therapist. Firstly there will be an assessment session where you can get a feel of the therapist and the therapist can get a feel of you to see if there is mutuality in working together. There is then an assessment phase (this could take up to three or four sessions), your therapist may ask lots of questions about you. When the assessment phase is complete, your therapist should have a good understanding of your problems and what may be causing them. He or she will help you develop an understanding of how you can resolve these problems, and will come up with a plan for how the two of you might work together (that is, a treatment plan). The length of the treatment plan will depend on the complexity of your concerns.

Your rights as a client Top

You have every right to expect your therapist to display respect for you and to convey this respect by keeping appointments as scheduled, by contacting you if scheduling changes are necessary, and by giving her/his complete attention to you during therapy sessions.
At any point during therapy, you are encouraged to ask questions regarding your therapist's qualifications, training, experience, specialisation areas and limitations, and personal values. You should receive thoughtful and respectful answers.
Since your needs are primary to your treatment, you are encouraged to negotiate therapeutic goals, and renegotiate them whenever you wish. You are further encouraged to ask questions regarding the therapy process, specific treatment methods, therapy fees, methods of payment, estimated length of treatment.
You may refuse any intervention or treatment strategy suggested by your therapist and you may refuse to answer any questions.
Within the limits of published ethical standards and the law, information you reveal to your therapist will be maintained as confidential and will not be communicated to another person or agency without your written permission. The rare legal limits to confidentiality will be clearly described at your assessment session.

Making the initial contact with a therapist Top

When you phone or email a therapist you can say a little about what area your difficulties lie and ask if the therapist can work with you. You can then set up an initial assessment where you can get a feel of the therapist and the therapist can get a feel of you to see if there is a mutuality in working together.

How much will it cost? Top

Cost of therapy sessions vary from around £25 per session upwards. Some therapist offer a free assessment session. There are organisations around the UK that offer free services but these are often subject to a waiting list in most cases

What do the qualifications mean? Top

Certificate - normally a one year training

Diploma / MA / BSc - normally a four year training with around 250 to 450 supervised client hrs

UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy), BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy), BMA (British Medical Association) registered - Post qualification registration with monitored continual professional development, a set minimum amount of supervised client work a year, an ethical framework within which to work and disciplinary procedures. You would normally need to be registered to work in Government agencies.

Senior Trainee - Has, or is nearing completion of a four year training and is working towards qualification


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