The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the leading professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, with over 34,000 members, welcomes the Government's commitment to increased provision of NHS psychological therapies as announced in yesterday's comprehensive spending review.
BACP believes that the public deserve the best possible psychological therapies, and the health service should be equipped to offer the full range of evidence-based psychological interventions. The previous policies of over-reliance on particular interventions were neither appropriate nor effective for all patients.
BACP hopes that the recent support for patient choice within Coalition government statements will be reflected in the roll out of this new investment. There is good evidence showing that talking treatments are widely preferred to drugs and help patients develop resilience skills for life. Recent research has revealed that 83% of people would prefer to talk to someone rather than take drugs, and 95% believe that it is a good idea to seek counselling for a problem before it gets out of hand.
Dr Lynne Gabriel, BACP Chair, said: "We welcome the government's commitment to expanding access to talking therapies but urge that any such expansion is fit for purpose and results in a range of talking therapies being made available to those who need them. Much recent progress has been made in accepting patients' preference for counselling therapies, and this increased funding needs to stand alongside an equally resolute government commitment to fostering this wider approach."
 Andrew Lansley, 23/06/10. Berkshire West PCT NHS Trust. http://www.berkshirewest-pct.nhs.uk/_store/documents/doh_pr_lansley_visit.pdf
 BACP Public Attitudes Survey 2010.