What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is basically having a useful conversation with another human being. 

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How to check out a psychotherapist

At the moment there is no statutory registration of psychotherapists, although one is planned. This means that currently it is possible for anyone to say they are a psychotherapist. However there are registers of accredited psychotherapists, such as the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, the British Psychoanalytic Council, and British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies . If your potential therapist is registered with one of these, they will have completed a training, have malpractice insurance and a robust complaints procedure.

Try to find out as much about your potential psychotherapist's training and experience as you can before you go and see them. Any psychotherapist who does not want to tell you what their training has been is worthy of suspicion, in our view.

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Underlying theories

There are generally considered to be three main theoretical orientations within the field of psychotherapy:-

1.    Psychoanalytic
2.    Cognitive-behavioural
3.    Systemic

Some people would also add:-

4.  Integrative

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Patient, client or service user?

There has been a controversy within psychotherapy circles for some years about whether or not to call the person who comes to see a psychotherapist for help a "patient", a "client" or a "service user".  Some people may think such a discussion to be more worthy of being called a storm in a teacup rather than a controversy, but for what it is worth, here are our views...

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