Do you need therapy?

Written by Georgina McKinnon


August 14, 2023

Do You Need Therapy?

A recent article in New Scientist Magazine asked a valid question, do you need therapy?

Perhaps it’s not so much the question that gives pause for thought, rather the issues around finding a therapist who offers the right ingredients for success. We know that research has shown psychotherapy to be effective in both the long and short term for most mental health conditions, and it is at least as effective as conventional medication in conditions like anxiety and depression.

We live in a Tic Tock and Instagram world,  so in many ways therapy is becoming more visible but often this is through five minute quick fix videos. Now there may be nothing wrong with a 5 minute relaxation period, we could all do with that, but there is a need  to recognise the limitations of the fast fix approach and if necessary find good therapy tailored to individual needs.

People with more time to consider the implications for their mental health during and after the pandemic and lockdowns began to look for answers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have said the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in in anxiety and depression globally. Unfortunately during the pandemic it became more and more difficult to follow traditional routes to talk things over. Professionals like GPs or other conventional medical professionals who traditionally offered some advice or arranged a few sessions of counselling or CBT via the NHS often became increasingly inaccessible during that time and this situation has not improved in many areas of the UK, at time of writing the wait for these services is months, even years long, that’s if it’s even possible to see a GP face to face to explain the help needed.

Eventually sparked by the need to find help, many people realised it was possible to find a talking therapist online. Working remotely may have been something they would never have even realised was even possible before. But people found, after working from home it was not that unusual to think of accessing services online.  

More therapists were driven to offer their services using online platforms too during the pandemic.  There was a steep learning curve that took many therapists out of their comfort zone and bang into the 21st century and this was a good thing.

And so therapists working online was often vital for many clients during the pandemic and the benefit of new ways of accessing help has continued.  It is worth recognising though that there is a big difference in seeing a therapist either online or face to face, and a 5 minute video which is no substitute for a program tailored to the individual on a one to one basis. There is a need to consider also that while the growth in online quick fix and advice methods may be useful the benefits are often limited and generic, there is no guarantee of quality either.  It also needs to be asked is tic tock therapy encouraging the pathologising of normal emotions, especially in the young.

On a therapy appointment with time to talk – mutual understanding, rapport and client trust can be established.

Finding a therapist does not have to be daunting, listen to recommendations and ask lots of questions about qualifications, ask about ways of working, above all a listing on a professional association like the APHP or NRPC means the therapist will be qualified, insured and supervised.  It is worth remembering while good therapy has to be paid for, it is not quick fix; it is a process.

If you’d like to find a qualified therapist, use the search function on our website and have a look at those who are listed.

Georgina McKinnon FAPHP

Published : Aug 14, 2023