David Crosby (letters, 21 October) links primary care counselling with other alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, reflexology and spiritual healing.

With the growing body of evidence confirming the effectiveness of primary care counselling, and 53 per cent of GP surgeries employing a counsellor before the introduction of primary care commissioning, I do not believe that counselling should be categorised as alternative.

The evidence includes a report showing that the number of consultations patients had with their doctors was significantly reduced both during and after counselling.

As an association we believe in self-regulation and have set standards for membership. Primary care counsellors regularly audit and evaluate their work and have shown the value of their place in the primary healthcare team.

Joan Foster Chair Counsellors in Primary Care Bognor Regis