The main advantages of using a private therapist are the shorter waiting times and the greater flexibility to choose a therapist that suits your particular personality and situation. Private therapy also offers individually tailored treatment designed for you, which you can access for as long as you need to feel better.
When choosing a private CBT therapist be sure to check the therapist is fully qualified in CBT and that they have achieved accreditation – a demonstration of competency and achievement of best practice standards in CBT. All accredited CBT therapists are listed at www.cbtregisteruk.co.uk
CBT is also available on the NHS. Speak to your GP about whether you can access local services, how long the waiting time for treatment is and the number of sessions you can receive.
How to choose a private therapist
Here are some points to bear in mind before you begin:
- Is the therapist qualified and accredited in CBT?
- How soon is “now”? Are you happy to join a waiting list or is the problem becoming acute?
- Is gender a concern? Some people will not be comfortable with a male or female stranger discussing intimate matters. It’s your decision.
- Is sexuality an issue? Talking through problems with someone who identifies as lesbian, for example, may be important.
- Do you share a common language? If you are British Indian, for example, and want to discuss a sensitive cultural matter, finding a therapist who speaks Hindi can be reassuring.
- Would you be happy with sessions where the therapist is mostly silent, or do you want interaction?
- How much are you happy to pay?
- If you have private health insurance, this could be an option for payment. Check with your provider first.
- Would you prefer your therapist to be a similar age to you, older, or younger?
- Do you want to focus on problems in the here and now or something that happened in the past?
- Do you want to attend in a group, as a couple or alone?
- Would you prefer to see someone close or are you interested in using Skype?