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How to Choose an English-Speaking Therapist in Barcelona

How to Choose an English-Speaking Therapist in Barcelona

Barcelona’s international community have more and more options for therapy in Barcelona. How do you choose a therapist? What should you look for?

Here is a rough guide to help you in your search.

  1. First Contact Send the same email to a number of therapists. Are they responsive? How do their responses to your questions sound to you? Are they welcoming? Do they answer your questions readily, even if you request the answers in writing?
  2. Experience Ask how many years of experience the therapist has had. If they don’t have many years of experience, are they in a group practice with other, more experienced, therapists where they will be learning and able to undertake supervision?
  3. English Proficiency How is the therapist’s English proficiency? They say they speak English, but do they really speak and comprehend well enough that you can be easily understood? There are a lot of therapists in Barcelona who say they speak English well and don’t. Read the websites. How is the grammar?
  4. Communication Skills This goes back to points number one and number three. However you communicate with them, via email or telephone, do they have good communication skills? Do they put you at ease? 
  5. Relationship. Relationship. Relationship. The relationship with your therapist is everything. Beyond years of experience, type of therapy or age of therapist, it is the therapeutic relationship that is THE number one factor contributing to successful therapeutic outcomes. Do you feel like they care about you and your goals for therapy? Do you feel heard, respected, supported, accepted? Do you trust this therapist? Can you really tell them all that you need to? Are they intuitive, empathetic, warm, and accepting of you? Are they nonjudgmental, but also able to pull you up and gently challenge you when you need to reflect on behaviours or thought patterns that may be causing you problems in your life? Trust your gut. Keep looking if you do not feel good with them after a few sessions. 
  6. Smarts As well as being there to actively listen to you and hold space for you when you need to fall apart, can this therapist also pinpoint issues and clarify concerns? Can they help you make sense of the mess of feelings and worries? Do they help you discern patterns in your life? Are they able to also explain what’s going on and what can be worked on in simple terms you understand?
  7. Strategies It is important to delve in to the past, to assess why you got where you are, and to know family history, and your life’s story. However, it is also important that you are simultaneously getting a sense of what changes might need to be made and how these may be made. Often these changes can be really big, so that means there will be a long process in which the relationship with the therapist will help you to, for example, build trust, develop confidence, develop insights, etc Some strategies will be immediate, like pinpointing your need to stop drinking caffeine by the early afternoon and get some exercise to help your wellbeing and try to improve your sleep hygiene. Whatever the changes needed, you want a therapist who can explain these simply to you, and give you a rough map of how to get there, and what strategies might need to be learned.
  8. Professionalism Good therapists have boundaries. They do not talk about themselves unless they are sharing sparingly as a way to reflect common humanity or for some other benefit to YOU. They remain alert and present throughout the session. They respect your time by arriving on time, and respect their own time by ending on time, making up lost time and, applying a cancellation fee if you cancel without notice. They do not check their phone, answer their phone, or check the time an inordinate amount. Good therapists are present with you in session because it is YOUR golden hour and they are being paid to be there for YOU.
  9. Exploration A good therapist facilitates you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and options. They help you walk around a concern and see it from different angles. They won’t give you answers or tell you what to do. They will accompany you on your journey and show curiosity about your life, inner world and choices. Good therapists offer you different perspectives, and perhaps, new tools for managing issues or thinking about others, yourself or the world. A good therapist respects that you are living your life, and are invested in you doing what you need or want to do at any given time.
  10. Checking In Good therapists check-in with you about how the therapy is going for you, how you are feeling, and may even have you do short questionnaires to measure this. It is really important to tell your therapist if you are feeling something is not working or you are not feeling good about the therapy, to help you and the therapist make changes to the therapeutic goals or process.
  11. Goal Post Be clear about what your concerns and goals are before starting therapy. Have a go at writing these down. You don’t have to have all the answers, just give it a shot. This will help you and your therapist know what direction you are going in. It will help if you are able to express that you just need to talk through an issue, or if you need some concrete tools for managing anxiety, for example. Telling the therapist about what you liked and didn’t like, what worked and didn’t work in past therapy can be really helpful as a guide for them too. 
  12. Try for 3 Sessions Unless the therapist is clearly awful, do give them a chance. That said, if your gut says “NO,” remember that you are paying, it’s your life and your therapy. Go find another therapist.

    Life’s too short for bad therapy.

  13. Go For It Give it a try. Reach out today to start. You may strike it lucky on your first go and get the right therapist for you. If you need to try more than one, that journey is worth it too, because good therapy can be the most honest, real and fertile ground for self-knowledge and growth you will ever experience. 

Good luck! 

 

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”
― Shannon L. Alder

 

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Email: info@therapyinbarcelona.com
Whatsapp: +34 644 522 369

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If you need immediate assistance, please go to your local hospital emergency department. The essential phone numbers in Barcelona, Spain are 061 (medical emergencies, multilingual) or 112 (emergency).
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