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A guide to taking the first steps, making empowered decisions and getting the right support for you.
Although it’s not an option for many people because of the financial cost, you might feel it's the right choice for you to see a private nurse, doctor, psychiatrist or therapist – either alongside NHS support, or instead of it. This page covers:
Some common reasons for considering seeking help through the private sector might be:
"I tried going through the NHS but counselling wasn't available out of work hours, which just wasn't viable for me. I did some research on local therapists in my area, sent a few emails regarding fees and availability, and picked the best fit for me."
There are a number of different organisations who can help you find a therapist such as 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:
(See our page on finding a therapist for more information.)
Private healthcare can be expensive, so you may need to think carefully about how – or if – you will be able to afford it. Private therapy costs will usually depend on:
Some private therapists offer a sliding scale of payment depending on your circumstances.
There are two main payment options:
This information was published in December 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.