Private therapists usually charge for appointments and can be expensive, although some therapists may offer reduced rates for people on low incomes. You may consider seeing a therapist privately for a number of reasons, for example:
- the variety of talking treatments available to you may be greater
- you may be able to access treatment more quickly
- you may want to continue therapy over a longer period of time than you can on the NHS
How can I find a therapist?
You can find a therapist through the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Any therapist you find through this website will have signed up to the BACP’s ethical framework, which means they must:
- behave in a professional and safe way towards you
- explain their responsibilities regarding confidentiality
- tell you their complaints procedure if you ask for it
What should I ask when arranging an appointment?
Before you decide whether you want to book an appointment, you may want to ask about the following:
- How much do they charge per session? Do they offer reduced rates for people on low incomes?
- Do they still charge for missed appointments?
- Do they offer a free introductory session to allow you to decide whether you can work together?
- When and where would the sessions take place?
- You can also ask them for details of their qualifications and to explain what the qualifications mean.
For more information about seeking help through the private sector see our page on seeking help for a mental health problem through the private sector.
I got a reduced rate for private therapy. It’s still expensive, but it was really important to me to be in control of when I started therapy, who I saw, and how often I saw them.
This information was published in February 2016. We will revise it in 2019.