Psychological therapies on the NHS Click to get info
The National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE) advises the NHS on which therapies are most suitable for mental health problems like anxiety.
Which therapy you are referred for depends on what emotional or mental health problem you have and how severe it is.
NHS therapies for depression Click to get info
For mild to moderate depression, NICE recommends you are initially referred for guided self-help, or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT).
Guided self-help is where you work your way through a self-help course with support from a healthcare professional.
With computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) you work through a computer programme with the support of a healthcare professional. The programme helps you to understand your depression and find ways to overcome it.
Your GP may also suggest referring you to a group exercise class.
If none of the above helps, your GP should talk to you about the possibility of trying an anti-depressant medicine or a psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT helps you to identify and stop negative thinking.
If you have moderate to severe depression NICE recommends you are offered both an antidepressant and a psychological treatment, such as CBT or interpersonal therapy. Interpersonal therapy helps you identify and address problems in your relationships with family, partners and friends.
NHS therapies for anxiety Click to get info
If you are diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), you may be referred for a guided self-help course or group support meetings on the NHS.
GAD is when you can't control your anxiety and worry about lots of different things a lot of the time.
If self-help or group meetings don't help your anxiety, talk to your GP about whether a course of CBT would be helpful. This should be available on the NHS.
Your GP can also discuss anti-anxiety medication with you.
Other places that offer therapy Click to get info
Some charities offer cheap or free talking therapies or group support. These include:
Some employers provide counselling for their employees and lots of colleges and universities offer free therapy to students who need it.
Paying for private therapy Click to get info
If you can afford it, you can choose to pay for your therapy privately.
The cost of talking therapy varies and a one-hour session can cost between £50 and £100.
Your GP may be able to suggest a local private therapist or you can find a therapist online.
It's essential to check that the therapist is listed on one of the registers of approved practitioners.
The following organisations have approved therapists:
- British Psychological Society: psychologists
- British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP): cognitive behavioural therapists
- Association for Family Therapy (AFT): family therapists
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP): counsellors and therapists
- British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC): psychoanalytic psychotherapists
- UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP): psychotherapists
- The Health and Care Professions Council: practitioner psychologists and art therapists
- Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy: cognitive analytic practitioners and psychotherapists
It's a good idea to talk to several therapists before you decide which one is right for you.
See Find the right therapist for you for more advice.
Article provided by NHS Choices