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Is it worth paying for a private counsellor? Watch

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    I think I've been suffering from depression for a few years, but struggled to properly get help because my GPs haven't really been taking me seriously whenever I tell them about my depression, and the free counselling they referred me to has a too long waiting list and didn't help. I've tried to just ignore my depression, but my life is just becoming a downward spiral and overwhelming, so I'd like to try some counselling or therapy again, but maybe go private instead.

    I understand that maybe it would be a bit expensive over time, but if it could really help to improve my mental well-being and overall life then could it be worth it? Anyone with experience of free counselling vs. private counselling and how they compare?

    P.S. No I'm not in school or college or uni, to save anyone suggesting getting counselling from them, it's a no go. Plus, I'm currently working a free internship at the moment so I don't even have any money right now, so I'll probably have to ask my parents for money for counselling, hopefully they'll help me out with that.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I think I've been suffering from depression for a few years, but struggled to properly get help because my GPs haven't really been taking me seriously whenever I tell them about my depression, and the free counselling they referred me to has a too long waiting list and didn't help. I've tried to just ignore my depression, but my life is just becoming a downward spiral and overwhelming, so I'd like to try some counselling or therapy again, but maybe go private instead.

    I understand that maybe it would be a bit expensive over time, but if it could really help to improve my mental well-being and overall life then could it be worth it? Anyone with experience of free counselling vs. private counselling and how they compare?

    P.S. No I'm not in school or college or uni, to save anyone suggesting getting counselling from them, it's a no go. Plus, I'm currently working a free internship at the moment so I don't even have any money right now, so I'll probably have to ask my parents for money for counselling, hopefully they'll help me out with that.
    Hey, I've been thinking I might have depression as well. At the moment I'm just going to wait until uni but hopefully attend the odd support group here and there.

    Have you had a look at other free counselling places? Or can you get anything via NHS?
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    (Original post by DashingHero)
    Hey, I've been thinking I might have depression as well. At the moment I'm just going to wait until uni but hopefully attend the odd support group here and there.

    Have you had a look at other free counselling places? Or can you get anything via NHS?
    Yes, I contacted other free counselling services, but none got back to me so I can't be bothered with them anymore. So I'm wondering if you get what you pay for when it comes to going private.
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    No one at all with experience or advice in this??
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I think I've been suffering from depression for a few years, but struggled to properly get help because my GPs haven't really been taking me seriously whenever I tell them about my depression, and the free counselling they referred me to has a too long waiting list and didn't help. I've tried to just ignore my depression, but my life is just becoming a downward spiral and overwhelming, so I'd like to try some counselling or therapy again, but maybe go private instead.

    I understand that maybe it would be a bit expensive over time, but if it could really help to improve my mental well-being and overall life then could it be worth it? Anyone with experience of free counselling vs. private counselling and how they compare?

    P.S. No I'm not in school or college or uni, to save anyone suggesting getting counselling from them, it's a no go. Plus, I'm currently working a free internship at the moment so I don't even have any money right now, so I'll probably have to ask my parents for money for counselling, hopefully they'll help me out with that.
    You need to think about why counselling didn't help the first time round. If it was the counsellor you didn't get on with, but you think that talking over things could help, then looking into private counsellors may be a good idea (although, they are usually no more qualified than NHS counsellors, so Im not convinced you would get much better quality).

    A better option may be CBT. Have you spoken to your doctor about that? There will be NHS CBT therapists as well as private CBT therapists too. Maybe have a look at that? Or try mood gym, which is free online CBT, and see if you like how it works. Personally I think CBT is a much better option than counselling for trying to get over depression (especially if its long term), but everyone is different.


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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I think I've been suffering from depression for a few years, but struggled to properly get help because my GPs haven't really been taking me seriously whenever I tell them about my depression, and the free counselling they referred me to has a too long waiting list and didn't help. I've tried to just ignore my depression, but my life is just becoming a downward spiral and overwhelming, so I'd like to try some counselling or therapy again, but maybe go private instead.

    I understand that maybe it would be a bit expensive over time, but if it could really help to improve my mental well-being and overall life then could it be worth it? Anyone with experience of free counselling vs. private counselling and how they compare?

    P.S. No I'm not in school or college or uni, to save anyone suggesting getting counselling from them, it's a no go. Plus, I'm currently working a free internship at the moment so I don't even have any money right now, so I'll probably have to ask my parents for money for counselling, hopefully they'll help me out with that.
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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    You need to think about why counselling didn't help the first time round. If it was the counsellor you didn't get on with, but you think that talking over things could help, then looking into private counsellors may be a good idea (although, they are usually no more qualified than NHS counsellors, so Im not convinced you would get much better quality).

    A better option may be CBT. Have you spoken to your doctor about that? There will be NHS CBT therapists as well as private CBT therapists too. Maybe have a look at that? Or try mood gym, which is free online CBT, and see if you like how it works. Personally I think CBT is a much better option than counselling for trying to get over depression (especially if its long term), but everyone is different.


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    I had to wait 6 months to get a first appointment with a free counsellor, and then when I finally got that first session, I don't think the counsellor was very good as she somehow ended up talking more about her own life than mine, and not even doing it in a way that would make me feel better :confused:. I did try to get a second session anyway, but they kept moving the dates back for some reason to the point where I felt messed around and didn't want to bother with them again.

    I have two CBT self help books and an online moodgym account that I read from time to time and try to do the exercises, though I'll admit I'm not very consistent with it all and get bored very easily (in fact, one of the issues I'm having in life is getting bored of things easily and hardly sticking to anything). But maybe I'll try to have another go at them first before resorting to paying for therapy.

    Just out of curiosity, why do you say CBT is better than counselling for depression? Oh, and one of the private counsellors I've seen on an online directory offers both counselling and CBT, so if I choose her then at least I'd have the option of receiving both types of therapy from the same person.

    And I don't really feel like ever going to my GP again about any mental health issues. I've been to 3 different GP doctors in the past 4 years about it, and none have been very helpful. The first one told me to just get out more and enjoy being young, and the other two referred me to the free counselling that didn't work out. I asked one doctor if he could prescribe me anti-depressants but he refused. I dunno, it's just a pain trying to get help from them, so I'm wondering if it's more worth just going straight to someone who's specially qualified in dealing with my issues.


    (Original post by doctordee)
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I had to wait 6 months to get a first appointment with a free counsellor, and then when I finally got that first session, I don't think the counsellor was very good as she somehow ended up talking more about her own life than mine, and not even doing it in a way that would make me feel better :confused:. I did try to get a second session anyway, but they kept moving the dates back for some reason to the point where I felt messed around and didn't want to bother with them again.

    I have two CBT self help books and an online moodgym account that I read from time to time and try to do the exercises, though I'll admit I'm not very consistent with it all and get bored very easily (in fact, one of the issues I'm having in life is getting bored of things easily and hardly sticking to anything). But maybe I'll try to have another go at them first before resorting to paying for therapy.

    Just out of curiosity, why do you say CBT is better than counselling for depression? Oh, and one of the private counsellors I've seen on an online directory offers both counselling and CBT, so if I choose her then at least I'd have the option of receiving both types of therapy from the same person.

    And I don't really feel like ever going to my GP again about any mental health issues. I've been to 3 different GP doctors in the past 4 years about it, and none have been very helpful. The first one told me to just get out more and enjoy being young, and the other two referred me to the free counselling that didn't work out. I asked one doctor if he could prescribe me anti-depressants but he refused. I dunno, it's just a pain trying to get help from them, so I'm wondering if it's more worth just going straight to someone who's specially qualified in dealing with my issues.
    Did you do another counselling than just that one session? Maybe it would be worth trying another free place again? Counsellors are all different and have different ways of working, so you are bound to come across some who are just not your style.

    When you did the CBT books, did it make sense to you? Did you like the way it approached problems? Did you see yourself in the examples? If so, maybe look at doing CBT with a therapist. It can be really hard to motivate yourself to do it.

    Well it depends on how your depression came about. If something specific happened, or there is something getting you down, counselling can be good to talk about the problem and help you find a way past it. For example, if you had trauma, trauma counselling could help you come to terms with that and move on. But if you have had depression for a while, or it keeps coming back, CBT can be much better as it helps train your brain into a more healthy thinking style. For example, CBT could help if you have a low opinion of yourself, or low confidence which causes trouble for you as it helps you look at what is going on in a healthier way. E.g if you can't get a job, you may think you are a failure or stupid and then you would feel depressed, and then would struggle to apply for more jobs because you feel ****. But with CBT, you could analyse your judgments of yourself better, and help remind yourself that you not having a job doesn't make you stupid, its just there are no jobs at the moment, so then you would feel a bit more confident about applying for jobs and you would feel less depressed.



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    Unfortunately there's a huge mental health demand in the uk . And with funding cut , the reliability will more likely to lay on gp more and more , there's a lot of guideline and rule to follow by nhs that are currently being ignore.

    Depending on your situation and your severity . counselling might not be the only thing available that might be able to helps. Apart from general cbt . there are different type of therapy .varies of group. Therapies are offer by cmhts or even just some day service centre ( community centre ) free of charge . I would suggest looking around the area and try them out before looking for any specific counselling or service . Some people might find group therapy more helpful to share and understand by those with similar experience and some people might find 1:1 better .

    Depending on your area , gp might not be the only place that are able to refer you to mental health support. Some area have go through access team for initial appointment and they will then decide what is most suitable for your situation . Although mostly through third party ,You could contact the access team on your own in some area .

    In relation to price list . They are different depending on lot of variable such as experiences of therapist or counsellor , their qualification ( counselling psychologist or counselling psychotherapist charge more then a normal counsellor ) , wether the counsellor specialist on any area ( again will charge more ) type of counselling service provide ( this mean different therapy such as person centre therapy , cbt , dbt etc ) , of course also depend on the area ( it tends to be cheaper up north in general )

    A experienced specialist psychologist in near London area can cost up to 80-150 pound per session but some psychotherapist or counsellor could charge as little as 35-50 pounds per session.

    Then again I would suggest speaking to your gp again or ask to speak to another gp until u find one that would take you serious . But the thing is gp have average no longer then 20 minute to see , access and treat a patient , it is almost impossible for them to have a couple of appointment and know all about you . Continue trying while you try to find a suitable therapist . Sometime gp could suggest some good private service . I would also suggest trying out group and different free available therapy group in local before looking for specific counselling service . Try contact Cmhts or access team they have guideline to reply client under certain time fame ( I forgot,but you could ask )
    If all come to the worse ( such as suicidal or servers harm to yourself or other , go to a& e for a emergency mental assessment . It is again one of the guideline they have to follow )

    Speak to your family or friends if you think they can help and you are happy with that , best of luck !!!


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    http://blahtherapy.com/ - would a site like this be any help?

    You can talk to strangers (anonymously) for free or pay $25 (US-based site, it's ~£16) to talk to an actual therapist. The free chat might help until you can get a face-to-face counsellor sorted?
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    I agree that you should probably be looking at CBT rather than counselling, counsellors traditionally take quite a wishywashy approach, it's up to you to set a direction and it's more just providing someone for you to direct your thoughts at and bounce ideas off, they advocate more of an exploration approach (e.g. by talking about how your negative self perceptions come from things a bully said to you 10 years ago you become free sort of thing) rather than the more straight forward directive CBT approach where you are expected to actively challenge thoughts and behaviours and combine understanding with behaviour changes

    I dont think that generally speaking you will get anything better in terms of counselling quality from going private, when I was in NHS services I worked with a couple of therapists who moved to private services who were nowhere near as good as others who remained within the NHS, I also worked with therapists who worked part time for the NHS and part time privately, and at one point was within a private service anyway - the difference will only come in that you will not have to deal with the long waiting lists and while you can request a change of therapist on the NHS that often means a further wait whereas with private you can switch immediately

    you should bear in mind though that therapy will be uncomfortable and difficult, if you want to overcome your issues it will not be pleasant and will involve lots of hard work and what you do is by far more impotrant than your therapist
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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    Did you do another counselling than just that one session? Maybe it would be worth trying another free place again? Counsellors are all different and have different ways of working, so you are bound to come across some who are just not your style.

    When you did the CBT books, did it make sense to you? Did you like the way it approached problems? Did you see yourself in the examples? If so, maybe look at doing CBT with a therapist. It can be really hard to motivate yourself to do it.

    Well it depends on how your depression came about. If something specific happened, or there is something getting you down, counselling can be good to talk about the problem and help you find a way past it. For example, if you had trauma, trauma counselling could help you come to terms with that and move on. But if you have had depression for a while, or it keeps coming back, CBT can be much better as it helps train your brain into a more healthy thinking style. For example, CBT could help if you have a low opinion of yourself, or low confidence which causes trouble for you as it helps you look at what is going on in a healthier way. E.g if you can't get a job, you may think you are a failure or stupid and then you would feel depressed, and then would struggle to apply for more jobs because you feel ****. But with CBT, you could analyse your judgments of yourself better, and help remind yourself that you not having a job doesn't make you stupid, its just there are no jobs at the moment, so then you would feel a bit more confident about applying for jobs and you would feel less depressed.



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    I only did one session. I had trouble waiting for a new one and then didn't bother again after that. Maybe I will keep looking around for free services, but it is annoying getting constantly disappointed by them.

    Yeah, the CBT books definitely make some sense. I agree, I find it hard to motivate myself so maybe I'll look into trying it with a therapist.

    I think my depression is definitely a combination of bad things that have happened in my life as well as my own personality/mind flaws. After all, I've never suffered any major traumas, and a lot of the things I've been depressed about (bullying, loneliness, not doing well at school, not getting the jobs I want, being broke) are things that probably many other people would be able to get over easily, whereas I seem to be overly sensitive in my reactions to them and find it hard to move on. And yeah, I've had depression for a while that does keep coming back whenever certain bad and disappointing things in my life happen.

    Thanks for all the advice, I'll certainly take it on board :yy:
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    (Original post by BrushieDuck)
    http://blahtherapy.com/ - would a site like this be any help?

    You can talk to strangers (anonymously) for free or pay $25 (US-based site, it's ~£16) to talk to an actual therapist. The free chat might help until you can get a face-to-face counsellor sorted?
    Ah, that website looks like a good concept, thanks! Might be a good alternative to always writing my troubles on TSR :yep:

    Also thank you to everyone else in this thread for their great advice :top:
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    Hi, I have suffered from anxiety & depression for 5.5 years now (diagnosed). I am very fortunate that my parents offered to pay for any help I needed & so I've had both counselling & CBT. I know that how much you pay for a service doesn't necessarily mean you get a better outcome, but it has in my case. I was being told at the beginning that I needed some help, but I didn't want it, so never did anything. I woke up one morning & suddenly decided that was it, I wanted help. I looked at it on the NHS, but there was a 6 month waiting list, so looked at free counselling. I live in Manchester & although there are some free services, they were only going to be an odd session or would ask for donations, plus they had large waiting lists. I found a counsellor online & contacted him, £35 a session, so I started seeing him weekly. A few months down the line, I felt we were just going over the same things week in, week out & got a bit despondent with it. Then he told me his prices were going up as he was about to qualify, I never knew he wasn't qualified, so I lost confidence entirely & never went back. I believed he was doing CBT with me, but I later learnt he wasn't. I ended up seeing a Psychiatrist at the Priory, who recommended I see a Psychologist & so I looked into it. I found a centre that looked very professional & contacted them. They put me in touch with a clinical psychologist who I then went to see. Bearing in mind that he charges £100 a session, he was worth double that in comparison to my unqualified counsellor. Amazing, within a few weeks, I was learning coping strategies & still don't know how it works! I gained so much confidence in him, especially as he was an intelligent guy & we'd both refer to current news/science/experience in relation to it. After 15 sessions, we hit a little bit of a brick wall, as my mum was going the PTSD & was getting help, but I needed to talk to her & the time wasn't right, so I stopped for the time being. A few months later, I got a job & they offered free counselling, so when things hit rock bottom again, I went & had the 6 free sessions. They were good, but no way near as good as my psychologist. 6 months later my contract ended & I got another job, that only lasted a few weeks, as the morals of the company were awful & I went off sick. I decided I needed a change in career & heard an advert on the radio. I looked into it & became very interested, so applied for Uni, but didn't get in. I lost my Nan to cancer & went back to see the psychologist, but decided to put it on hold until I was ready. I reapplied the following year, got an interview & a conditional offer. I also went back to see the psychologist & it's the best thing I ever did. Amazing, he found issues I had that I never even knew they were there, nothing really family related this time, more to do with anger & a fear of failure. I'm still seeing him every few weeks & this weeks session was about starting Uni in a few weeks, Wow is all I can say. After an hour I came out understanding that my fear of failure anxiety was shielding my social anxiety & he made me really positive. If you can afford to get help, do it! Though look at if you are getting CBT or not. If you just need someone to talk to, then a counsellor may work, but if you want to learn how to cope with situations & essentially understand your thinking, then make sure you have CBT. Not as scary as it sounds, I promise!
 
 
 
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