The government's announced investment in training cognitive behavioural therapy practitioners is to be welcomed by those who have been calling for more accessible psychological therapies on the NHS. However, before assuming this is the total solution, we should look at the broader picture, writes Lesley Murdin
Cognitive behavioural therapy, while valuable for many people, is not a cure-all. For some, a short course of CBT focused on more obvious thinking patterns and behaviours will not uncover or address the root cause of their problems.
To ensure people get the psychological therapy they need, they should first be thoroughly assessed by an experienced practitioner to identify whether cognitive behavioural therapy, ongoing counselling, group analytic therapy, psychotherapy or other interventions would be most appropriate.
At charity WPF Counselling and Psychotherapy, where we see around 500 clients a week in Kensington and many more at our centres around the country, the initial 90-minute consultation with each new client is key to determining which treatment is offered.
If this assessment gateway were replaced with a highway to CBT, there is a danger that this high-speed route could delay or even prevent an individual from getting the therapy they need.
Lesley Murdin is chief executive of WPF Counselling and Psychotherapy.