Therapists practise in all walks of life and all parts of society, from NHS clinics to workplaces and education. They are trained to deal with a range of situations, helping people to cope with such issues as anxiety and bereavement, relationship difficulties, sexual and racial issues, child abuse and trauma, or personal problem solving.
We use the word 'therapy' to cover talking therapies, such as counselling, psychotherapy and coaching. Therapy offers a safe, confidential place to talk to a trained professional about your feelings and concerns. You might talk about difficult events in your life or your relationships and emotions. Or you might have negative thoughts and behaviours that you want to change.
Therapists will not give you advice or solve your problems for you. They will listen to your story, helping you to understand yourself better and make positive changes in your life.
Find out how counselling works, what therapists do and what happens in a therapy session. We also explain some of the key terms and concepts you may hear.
People often choose to have therapy because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives. But you don't have to be in crisis to have therapy. Here's an A-Z of some of the issues therapy can help with.
Seasonal affective disorder
What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? What are the signs for SAD? How can counselling help with SAD? Our members Lina Mookerjee and Glenda Roberts explain.
How do you cope with a cancer diagnosis? What will help you get through the treatments, deal with the anxiety and face the future? Our member Jessica Mitchell talks about how counselling can help both cancer patients and those who love or care for them.
How do you cope with the death of a loved one? How can you deal with the overwhelming feelings of loss and grief? BACP member Sara Mathews explains how counselling can help.
We explain the different ways you may be able to access counselling or psychotherapy, depending upon your individual circumstances and the services available in your area.
Using the BACP Register and our online therapist directory can help you make sure that the therapist you see is qualified and works to professional standards.
Our online therapist directory is a paid for directory where BACP members can advertise to potential clients. Only registered or accredited members or accredited services can advertise on the directory. Most of those listed are private therapists who charge for their services.
There are many different types of therapy, such as CBT, family therapy or person centred therapy. We explain some of the different approaches.
If you are worried about a relative or friend who is going through a difficult time, we suggest ways you can support them and find professional help.
Going for therapy is a big step to take and it can be very distressing if it doesn’t seem right. Our Get help with counselling concerns service provides confidential telephone and email guidance on what to do if you have any concerns about your therapy or your therapist.
For further information and advice, see our list of helplines, websites and contacts from other organisations, or download our leaflets.
If you have any comments or would like to share your story, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There's no stronger evidence that counselling changes lives than those whose lives have been turned around. Here's your stories of how therapy has helped you.
Counselling in the news
Famous faces and national media show how counselling changes lives
Protecting the public
How we safeguard clients and raise public confidence in the counselling professions