Brought to you by NHS Choices
Psychotherapy helps the person to understand what makes them feel positive or anxious and accept their strengths and weaknesses. Identifying feelings and ways of thinking helps the person to cope with situations they find difficult.
Psychotherapy is often used to deal with psychological problems that have built up over a number of years. This requires a trusting relationship between the person and the psychotherapist, and treatment usually lasts for months or sometimes years. Psychotherapy may be carried out on an individual basis, as part of a group or with your spouse or partner. Sessions are normally an hour long, once a week or fortnight.
Psychotherapy is sometimes referred to as a talking treatment as it is often based on talking to a therapist or a group of people who have similar problems.
The cost of psychotherapy varies depending on the practitioner. It is available on the NHS, but you usually need to be referred by your GP. In some parts of the country referrals from other health professionals, such as those working in schools, may be accepted. There can be long waiting lists for NHS treatment, so some people try local practitioners privately.
NHS Choices links
- News: depression harm
- Live Well: finding a therapist
- Live Well: 'I hear voices'
- Health A-Z: mental health
- Health A-Z: depression
- Health A-Z: psychiatry
- RCPsych: mental health
- UKCP: psychotherapy
- Mental Health Foundation
- Depression Alliance
- Mind: mental health
- SANE: mental illness
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