It’s estimated that around half the GP surgeries in England provide counselling services and support.
However, the availability of services varies depending on where you live and in some parts of the country, especially rural areas or small towns, NHS therapy is in short supply. You may have to wait a long time or travel to find something suitable.
The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, which began in 2006, is putting thousands more trained therapists into general practices. The scheme will provide easy access to talking treatment on the NHS to everyone who needs it.
Your GP can refer you for talking treatment that is free on the NHS. This will usually be a short course of counselling or CBT from the general practice’s counselling service.
If counselling or CBT aren’t available at the surgery, your GP can refer you to a local counsellor or therapist for NHS treatment.
You may also be able to refer yourself for counselling. The IAPT programme means more and more primary care trusts (PCTs) are introducing the option of self-referral.
Self-referral means that people who prefer not to talk to their GP can go directly to a professional therapist. The service is already available in some parts of England. To find out what’s available in your area see our psychological therapy services directory.
If you have a serious mental health condition, such as severe depression, or a history of trauma or abuse, your GP can help you decide whether it would be better for you to see a different mental health professional, such as a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist or a member of the local community mental health team.
If you can afford it, you can choose not to use the NHS and insted to pay for your therapy. The cost of talking therapy varies and a one-hour session can cost between £40 and £100! So in reality we are getting a SERIOUSLY good deal from the NHS… Other than the cost one of the drawbacks of going private is there are no rules governing who can dvertise talking therapy services, so it’s essential to check that the therapist is listed on one of the registers of approved practitioners. The advantage, however, is that you have more control over choosing a therapist as you can almost interview several until you find one who’s treatment suits you.
The main category of therapy offered by the NHS is talking therapy is a broad term. It covers all the psychological therapies that involve a person talking to a therapist about their problems. Howeverr, in some cases areas offer other forms, and it can also be possible to get funding towards a private therapist of a different type of therapy. Talking therapy includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), cognative analitical therapy (CAT) and psychotherapy. Family therapy, couples therapy and group therapy are also offered, and can be placed under the umbrella term of talking therapy.
For those who find talking difficult creative therapies can aso be offered, these include such things as art therapy, body work, msic therapy and movement therapy.
We love the NHS… We currently are unable to work so get £360 a month to lie on, and as our rent alone is £575 that’s basically impossible… so without the NHS there is no way we could get treatment. In the past we have even had the hospitals, etc. send us and pay for taxi’s as we have issues getting outside and so couldn’t get there. I will admit that I have ad some bad experiances, bt these have mainly been with people rather than the service generally… and there are “bad” peopkle in every profession, doctors, nurses, psychs, etc are only human afterall. Over my life I have probably cost the NHS thousends of pounds (not exadurating either) and witout some of that treatment I would be dead… so without the NHS I’d either be dead or in so much debt that I’d wish i was dead…