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What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling are talking therapies. They are used to treat emotional problems and mental health issues. As well as talking, the therapy could use a range of methods including art, music, drama and movement.

We ensure our members are qualified to the highest standard. This means they are able to provide safe, expert therapy to help with emotional, social or mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Read about our standards, guidance and policies.

How can psychotherapy benefit me?

A trained psychotherapist can offer an environment in which you can:

  • express your feelings
  • gain a deeper insight into the issues you face.

Psychotherapy sessions are confidential. This means that you can talk about things you might not feel be able to discuss with anyone else.

The therapist will aim to help you find better ways to cope, or bring about changes in the way you think and behave to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Psychotherapy sessions can be

  • one-to-one
  • include a partner or family members
  • in a group.

Some therapists specialise in providing psychotherapy for adolescents and children. You can find a therapist near you by using our Find a Therapist tool.

How many sessions will I have?

Psychotherapy can be short or long term. The number of sessions will depend on you, your therapist, the type of therapy and the depth and complexity of the issues you want to resolve. It is unusual for therapy to last for less than six sessions. Some types of therapy may last for two years or more.

Psychotherapeutic counselling

As its name suggests, psychotherapeutic counselling is a type of counselling that draws from theories and approaches used in psychotherapy. The emphasis is on the therapeutic relationship between the counsellor and the client. This differentiates it from most other types of counselling.

Supporting your mental health through Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is a traumatic experience for all of us and it is perfectly natural to feel grief, fear, or anger. Psychotherapy can help you connect with and process these feelings in a safe and supportive relationship. Use our Find A Therapist tool to find a psychotherapist to work with.

You can trust our members to offer you safe, confidential, ethical, expert support. Psychotherapists must be highly trained, meet our rigorous standards, and abide by our ethical code to register with UKCP.

You can also find advice about looking after your mental health in these blog posts and podcasts: