How to seek therapy

If you’ve recognised any of the R.A.I.S.E. symptoms in yourself, then it might be time to seek professional support in the form of a qualified counsellor or therapist. Counsellors are trained to deal with a range of situations, and offer a safe, confidential, non-judgemental place to talk to a professional about your mental health concerns. A therapist will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, helping you to understand yourself better and make positive changes in your life. Seeking help and support is a sign of strength, and there are resources available to assist you in managing and overcoming the struggles you may be facing.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get counselling through the NHS, health insurance, or through charities and voluntary services. These services are often free, but they may have long waiting lists.

Or you can find a private practitioner. You will have a wider choice and should be able to see someone quickly and for longer, but you will most likely have to pay for their services.

You can access therapy through:

Speak to your GP. They can help you decide what type of therapy may be best for you. They will know what is available locally and may be able to refer you under the NHS or other local services.

At work
Your employer may offer a confidential Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or be able to refer you through an occupational health service. These programmes are designed to help employees with personal or work-related problems that may be having an impact on their job performance, health and mental wellbeing.

In education
Many colleges and universities have free and confidential in-house counselling services. You can usually find out what they offer and how to make an appointment through your university or college website.

Charities and voluntary services
Some voluntary or community organisations and charities offer free or affordable access to talking therapies. The services available locally will depend on where you live.

Private therapists
Private therapists’ charges can vary, starting from around £35 an hour. Costs are subject to location, availability and demand. Some counsellors offer a free initial assessment and reduced costs.

How to encourage the men in your life to go to therapy

If you know a man in your life is going through a difficult time, it can be hard to know how best to help them. You may feel that they need support and assistance beyond what you can provide.

Here are some ways you can give support and find the right kind of help for them.

Start a conversation: Starting a conversation about offering men help can be difficult but you can start by asking simple questions, such as: Would you like to talk? Is there something I can help with? It seems like you’re going through a difficult time, maybe I can help you to find the right help?

Show your support: Supporting the men in your life by letting them know you’re there to help can bring you together. You could try expressing your concern and reassuring them that you care, asking questions, listening to their ideas and being responsive when they talk about their problems and reminding them that help is available and that problems can be solved.

Maintain their trust: Though it may be obvious to you that someone you know needs professional help, there are many reasons why they may refuse or be reluctant to seek help. You may feel frustrated if you think they’re not trying hard enough to get well but try not to make assumptions about how they feel. Treat them with respect, compassion and empathy, and try not to rush things.

How to find a qualified therapist

Ensure you choose a qualified counsellor. Choosing a therapist who is registered with a professional body, such as BACP, means they are qualified and work to set professional standards and ethics.

You can use our online directory to find a qualified therapist, filtering by type of therapy you’d like, therapist location, and whether you’d like the therapy to be online or face to face.

Do some independent research into the therapist by searching their website. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their qualifications, training and specialist areas of expertise and experience. You need to find a therapist who you feel comfortable with and who is the right fit for you.

The bond you have with your therapist sits at the core of the therapeutic process so it’s important it feels right. Be mindful that finding the right therapist can take time and it’s OK to explore different options.