According to our recent survey of small business owners, 96% say they keep the stress of running a business bottled up.

We also found that more than two thirds feel like they have nobody to talk to about their problems. 63% admit to deprioritising their mental health in the name of success. And 56% feel like they need help with their mental health but don’t know where to start.

Talking to a counsellor can be a really positive step.

Results from a survey of 500 small business owners carried out by BACP and OnePoll in October 2021

What is counselling?

You don’t have to be in crisis to seek counselling. Counselling offers you a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space to talk to a skilled professional about your issues and concerns.

A counsellor will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and others. They'll help you find your own solutions – whether that’s making changes in your life or finding ways of coping with problems.

How can counselling help?

Counselling can help you with deal with depression and anxiety, cope with stress and manage harmful emotions and behaviours. It can help you with issues related to running your own business or that affect your personal life.

It can also help reduce the psychological impact of difficult work situations  on employees and support them to work effectively and productively.

How do you find someone to talk to?

You can ask to see a counsellor through your GP or the NHS, or through charities and third sector services. Or you can pay to see a private counsellor. This offers you a wider choice and you may be able to see someone quicker, perhaps for longer.

Businesses can bring in private counsellors or employee assistance programmes (EAPs) to offer professional mental health support to your employees. Many EAPs are themselves small businesses and offer pricing structures to suit most budgets.

Why choose a BACP member?

Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist, so it’s important you choose a therapist who’s listed on a Professional Standards Authority accredited register – such as the BACP register. Choosing a BACP-registered counsellor gives you an assurance that they meet the standards of proficiency, training and ethical practice you would expect.

Search our therapist directory

Or if you’re looking for an organisation who can offer counselling services, choosing one of our accredited services ensures they provide an ethical and professional counselling or psychotherapy service.

Find an accredited counselling service

Find out more

Our guide to workplace counselling explains more about the benefits, costs and options.

What is workplace counselling (pdf 0.1MB)

You can also check our workplace competency framework that identifies the competences workplace counsellors require to practice safely and effectively. This will help you identify the roles and responsibilities of counsellors, recruit counsellors and commission services.

Workplace competences