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Getting therapy

You can get talking therapies on the NHS (although you'll have to wait), pay for it privately or get it online.

How to get talking therapies on the NHS

Speak to your GP about the way you feel.

If they think a talking therapy is the best treatment, they can refer you, or give you a number to a local service that provides therapy in your area.

Some GPs put you directly in touch with a therapist or have therapists in their practice.

If you don't want to speak to your GP, you can call your local service directly. Check you have IAPT services (Improving Access to Psychological Treatment) in your area.

Waiting times can be long

Waiting times vary depending on your area. It can be can be up to a year.

NHS Therapy is around 6 to 12 sessions

When your course of therapy has finished, you'll have to review your situation with your GP. They may prescribe further sessions.

Paying for therapy yourself

You can also go directly to a therapist without using the NHS. You don’t need a referral from your GP and you can usually start right away.

The price per therapy session varies between £10 and £100, depending on where you live. Bigger cities, like London tend to be more expensive. Some therapists adjust their prices according to your income.

The charity Mind offers counselling free of charge.

Finding a therapist yourself

To search for an approved therapist use:

How to get therapy online

A type of therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is available online and it may be free on the NHS, depending where you live.

The benefits of computerised CBT include:

  • no waiting time
  • you don’t need a lot of experience on computers to use them
  • research shows they work
  • you can use them any time

Your GP can refer you for computerised CBT or you can refer yourself at:

Changing therapists

Finding a therapist that's right for you can improve the success of your therapy.

If you're unhappy with your therapist, speak to your GP (if you're having NHS therapy) or consider changing a private therapist.