Looking for a private therapist?

There are two main categories of appropriately qualified mental health practitioners who tend to work in the private sector. There are either counsellors or Psychologists. Psychotherapists are therapists who use psychological therapies but may be counsellors or psychologists.

What is the difference between counsellor and psychologist?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind (e.g. thoughts) and behaviour (e.g. actions), as well as our emotional states that interact with mind and behaviour.

Psychology is essentially an investigative science, but can also be applied in many areas of life, such as education, clinical therapies, organisations, design, to name just a few.

Counselling is a talking therapy aimed at helping people who are experiencing perturbing psychological symptoms: that is, difficult thoughts and feelings (e.g. trauma, depression, anxiety) and undesirable behaviours, such as addiction, self-harm, etc. Counselling will draw on the ideas, concepts and theories of scientific psychology, and also on other knowledge systems.

Counselling is a way of understanding and helping people get better by focusing on thoughts, feeling and resultant behaviours.

How do you know if your therapist is properly qualified?

The best way is to ensure that they are accredited with either BACP (for counsellors), BABCP (for CBT therapists), EMDR Europe (For EMDR therapists) or BPS (for psychologists who should be Chartered).

Different Therapies

There are so many different therapies available and choosing the right one can be a real minefield. Therapies are normally split into two groups, those which are used in the NHS and are approved by an organisation called NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). NICE develops guidance and recommendations on the effectiveness of treatments and medical procedures.

So, if a new procedure comes out into the world of health and well-being, NICE will do studies to see how effective it is.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

are all registered by NICE and used on the NHS.

Alternative therapies

There are some therapies that have not had enough evidence to suggest they are effective enough – these are classed as alternative therapies. These include hypnosis, NLP and emotional freedom therapy. Just because they aren’t regulated by NICE, or used on the NHS, doesn’t mean they aren’t effective and some people may find they work for them.

Our listing includes alternative practitioners on this list to enable you to have a choice.