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Finding the right style of therapy that supports you can take time. Most importantly, do you feel you like the therapist that you meet for the first time and that you could spend time with them?

Ensuring you can find someone who has suitable training and a background to match is essential. Finding a person whom you feel comfortable talking to is equally important. Take the time to meet different therapists and ask lots of questions before committing to therapy.

There are many types of therapy professionals from counsellors and psychotherapists to psychiatrists and psychologists. There is also a jungle of terminology to get your head around as you start searching for the right professional.

In practice, there are three main branches of psychology/psychotherapy:



Psychotherapy is a term that covers all talking therapies and the many associated approaches/methods. Psychotherapy aims to help clients overcome a wide scope of concerns.


Psychotherapists can choose from a wealth of approaches to help you understand and explore how you feel. Some therapists also teach skills to help you manage difficult emotions more effectively.


A psychotherapist can work with individuals, groups, families or couples. Many tend to specialise in whom they work with and what issues they address. For example, psychotherapists can decide whether they work with children or adults.


In practice, there are three main branches of psychology/psychotherapy with many different traditions within each branch. Even therapists with the same training will have a slightly different way of working because each person has their own style and expertise.


Today, in the NHS, much of the available therapy is based on the CBT model – Cognitive Based Therapy. Psychotherapy tends to be longer-term, open-ended work and is very rarely available on the NHS.



Psychiatry is a medical speciality. Psychiatrists provide a psychological diagnosis, prescribe medications, and assist their patients on medication management as a course of treatment.

Psychiatry is mainly concerned with and medication, as well as recommendations for further therapeutic input. Some Psychiatrists are also trained psychotherapists.



Most Clinical Psychologists will specialise in a particular type of assessment or therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or neuropsychology.

Psychologists are often either entirely research-focused or 'applied' (meaning they treat clients).



It can be a bewildering landscape to navigate when as a client you seek therapy.


There are many schools of talking therapy and a multitude of disciplines.


Even therapists with the same training will be different due to personal styles of working, interests and specialisms.