NICE guidance must not be used to cut counselling
Posted Wednesday 28 October 2009
New NICE guidance on treating depression released today (Wednesday 28 October) risks closing down treatment options for patients seeking counselling services, according to mental health charity Mind. In response to the guidance, Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"We welcome NICE's recommendations to promote the use of talking therapies over antidepressants, however we are concerned that the stronger focus on CBT over counselling will be interpreted by health services as an excuse to cut counselling services.
"Depression can be a complex issue and while CBT can bring huge benefits to many people, for others it isn't always the right approach and there is no substitute for talking through long-term issues with a counsellor. By recommending CBT over counselling, we are concerned that counselling will be squeezed out by commissioners and it will become harder for patients to access a range of treatments, and find the one that works for them.
"The supply of talking therapies is still below the demand and providers need to increase the availability of all talking treatments across the board. We need to ensure that the increased use of CBT is not at the expense of other therapies, and not at the expense of patient choice."