The factors that affect the choice of deciding between private and NHS funded psychotherapy can, on the surface at least, seem very obvious. But your decision isn’t only about affordability versus waiting times, there are some other important factors to consider too.
We all know how long NHS waiting times can be, but perhaps what isn’t as well known is that NHS treatment predominantly uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This form of therapy is time-limited and whilst can be highly effective for less complex issues, it isn’t suitable for everyone, or for every type of problem. Because my approach to psychotherapy is integrative, that is, combining a range of techniques, I use CBT where appropriate, but also other approaches allowing me to tailor a programme of therapy based on individual needs. In other words, it is most definitely not a one size fits all approach.
What’s more, coming to see me on a self-funded basis means we can discuss in detail how many sessions will be needed to address your issues fully, providing more sustainable long-term change.
For those that might be concerned about confidentiality, another advantage of private therapy is that no evidence of attending psychotherapy sessions is held on your normal medical records The only exception to this would be in extremely high-risk situations where contact with a GP is essential to safeguard your safety and welfare.
Finally, perhaps one of the more obvious but just as crucial differences to bear in mind is that private therapy allows you to choose the therapist you work with. Not only does this give you a basic level of choice, but it is also a very important factor in the outcome of your treatment. The relationship you have with your therapist, and the way you do or don’t work together, is just as important as the psychological methods or approaches used, if not more so!