Psychotherapy in the UK: 5 Things You Need to Know

Psychotherapy represents one option for treating mental and emotional problems. Trained psychotherapists help patients struggling with anxiety, depression, stress, and more. They provide valuable services in a day and age in which so many people seem to be struggling.

The owner and operator of the Psychoanalyst London website, clinical specialist María R. de Almeida, says that psychotherapy is often misunderstood by those patients who would most benefit from it. With improved education and a greater emphasis on mental health, she believes more people could be helped by psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

That being the case, here are five things you should know about psychotherapy in the UK:

1. A Clinical Diagnosis Isn’t Necessary

The first misunderstanding about psychotherapy relates to who can benefit from it. As de Almeida explains on her site, patients do not need to have a clinical diagnosis of mental illness in order to be helped by psychotherapy. Trained psychoanalysts routinely work with patients who are just struggling to navigate difficult circumstances.

You could see a psychoanalyst in London to help you get through the loss of a loved one. Asking for help does not mean you suffer from clinical depression. Psychotherapy acts as a way for you to process your loss so that you can move on with life.

2. Psychotherapy Is a Talking Therapy

You should know that psychotherapy is primarily a talking therapy. Psychoanalysts don’t prescribe medications or perform medical procedures. They often work with psychiatrists and psychologists to help clinically diagnosed patients, but they don’t do anything medical themselves.

The key to successful psychotherapy is to apply the right form of talking therapy. Rest assured that treatment takes many forms. The one thing they all have in common is encouraging patients to express their thoughts and emotions.

3. Multiple Settings Are Possible

Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy are traditionally conducted in an office setting and on a one-on-one basis. Still, the traditional setting isn’t required. Patients can meet with a therapist online or over the phone. They can meet in a therapist’s office or in a public place.

Sessions can also take place among groups. A patient might meet with her therapist alongside the rest of her family. Or she might join a group of patients all struggling with similar challenges. There is no set formula for treatment settings.

4. Individual Responses Differ

One of the reasons therapists are open to so many different settings and talking therapies is the simple fact that individuals respond differently. One patient may thrive in a group setting where discussions are mainly patient-led. Another patient may do better in one-on-one office sessions where the discussion is led primarily by the therapist.

5. Psychotherapy Is Available Through the NHS

The NHS makes psychotherapy available to UK residents through local clinics. Patients can refer themselves directly to an NHS clinician without the need to go to a GP first. However, patients can also consult with their GPs for a professional referral.

It should be understood that not all psychotherapists offer the same treatment options. This may be important if you have a particular type of talking therapy in mind. Specific requirements suggest it might be easier to see your GP for a professional referral. Your GP might know of one or two therapists more suitable to your needs.

Psychotherapy is often misunderstood by those who would most benefit from it. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of its basic principles. Should you find yourself struggling with mental or emotional issues, consider psychotherapy as an option. It could wind up being the best thing for you.