It’s well known that the waitlist to find mental health therapy in the UK through the NHS can be really lengthy and many opt to find therapy privately. I personally found great therapists this way, though I recognise being able to afford to pay for therapy privately is a huge privilege and it should absolutely be free for all those who need it… but let’s not get into politics.
I without a doubt would not be still here if I hadn’t gone to therapy and hopefully this will help someone else find an amazing counsellor to help them with their mental health.
How to find a mental health therapist in the UK?
I’ve found therapists a number of ways but I’ve found using the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ‘s (BACP) therapist directory , the most useful. You can search by postcode and then narrow down by specialism or the problem you would like to seek therapy for. You can also select options like online therapy, home visits, long term or telephone counselling.
Whats the difference between counselling and therapy?
Therapy is technically called psychotherapy but it’s rarely referred to that because of the negative connotations to the word ‘psycho’. It’s important to note there should be no stigma or shame when it comes to going to therapy. You may also hear it referred to as counselling and therapy and counselling are used interchangeably but there is a difference. Counselling tends to be more on a shorter term where as therapy is more of a long term basis.
How to select the right therapist
I have seen 5 different therapists and only two of which I saw on a long term basis. Therapists are people and much like in life you aren’t going to always gel with everyone, you also are not going to find every therapist your cup of tea. I’ve never had a bad experience with therapists, I’ve just met a couple I knew didn’t feel right for me. Whether that was the general vibe they gave off or I could tell their communication style wasn’t the same as mine.
Ways that can help you select the right therapist is looking at their profile on the BACP website. You can look at what the specialise in and about their background. Most good therapists will offer some form of free introductory session or phone call where you can both find out whether it will be a good fit. If one person doesn’t feel quite right then try to find one that does. There will be somewhere the perfect therapist for you.
What’s the difference between different therapies?
Psychology has a variety of different approaches on how it believes humans behave and their school of therapy often reflects that. It can be overwhelming hearing CBT, Gestalt, Psychoanalysis and not knowing which is best for you. Some therapists specialise in certain areas but most offer a good range of therapies to tailor and suit their patients needs and will discuss this with you. If you want to do a little research into what would be the best therapy for you, read this article.
How much does therapy cost in the UK?
One session can cost anything for £20-£70 dependent on what the therapist charges. Their rates are usually available with their profile but if you are really struggling financially, it would be worth asking your therapist if they can offer a cheaper rate. Some offer discounted rates to those on lower incomes.
If you are struggling with mental health please seek immediate professional support, some useful resources are linked and listed below.
Mind – Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
Samaritans – Call 116 123 for free