[setmeta name=”title”]Ask a Counsellor about Continued Professional Development (CPD)[/setmeta][setmeta name=”description”]What to ask a therapist to check how they keep their professional development, training & knowledge up to date.[/setmeta][setfeatureimage img=’files/2011/10/3881388281_1154da29b31.jpg’]
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A Counsellor’s Insurance.
Does the counsellor have indemnity or civil liability insurance?
Dean Richardson is covered by civil liability insurance and public liability insurance.
A Counsellor’s Commitment to Continual Professional Development.
Does the counsellor make you aware that they attend CPD (a form of continuing their training and experience throughout their practice). Some professional bodies, such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, require that the therapist obtain a minimum of 30 hours CPD per year.
Does the counsellor make known the history of their CPD? If so, this may be of interest to you. If not, perhaps you might ask the therapist what was their most recent training experience or what they learned from it. Perhaps a therapist who has not engaged in new learning recently might be able to justify to you their philosophy behind this.
Dean Richardson seeks a minimum of 30 hours CPD / year including attending workshops, studying literature & participating in online forums.
A Counsellor’s Marketing Claims.
Does the counsellor make claims about being “the best”, or “the most effective” or “most choose me”?
In 2012 I saw (and challenged) one counsellor who had the Google advert: “The UK’s Leading Counsellor”. Considering that there is no quantifier for counsellors to be judged as ‘leading’ or otherwise, claims of this sort are unsubstantiated and against their professional body’s requirements for membership. (The counsellor took down the advert shortly after receiving my enquiry about how she – or her marketing company – was quantifying her claim).
If the counsellor makes claims of “I’ve helped hundreds…” or “80% of people rate me as ‘the best'” – how does the counsellor substantiate that claim whilst protecting each of their clients’ confidentiality?
Whilst it may be a legitimate marketing technique to use superlatives to describe a service or product, can the counsellor substantiate their claims about themselves and their practice to you in the real world?
It may be worth you asking the counsellor to provide evidence to you of the claims being made.
Website: does the therapist website look as though it is professionally produced? When was the last entry added to the website – a week a go … a year ago … longer? Does the website give contact information, a local postal address, the counsellor’s professional membership (ie someone to whom you can complain if the counsellor is less than legitimate)?
Printed Material: does the counsellor’s printed material read accurately? Does it give you a sense of professionalism?
Dean Richardson produces and maintains his own website and all marketing material and adheres to his professional body’s requirements (The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy).
This website is his main professional practice’s website.