How to find a therapist

You can access therapy via three main routes – public sector (NHS, universities, schools and colleges), third sector (voluntary or charitable organisations), and private sector (qualified therapists in private practice). Some workplaces now offer access to a counselling services through an Employee Assistance Scheme.

Whilst therapy provided by public or third sector is usually free (some charities ask for a donation) the waiting lists can be very long. You can usually start therapy straight away when you approach a therapist in private practice but the cost of each session can be anything between £10 and £80.


  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is an NHS programme offering a range of psychological therapies. To find out more about IAPT visit their website and to find IAPT services in your area go to IAPT Service Search.
  • Your GP surgery. Some GP surgeries now offer counselling and psychotherapy or your GP can refer you to your local psychological therapies service.
  • Your school, college or university will have counselling service available to students.


Many charities and voluntary organisations offer counselling often provided by students in placement. Some third sector counselling services across West Yorkshire are:









If you are considering seeing a therapist privately it is important to ensure that they hold appropriate qualifications. They will be a member of a professional body and you will be able to check their registration status on the professional body’s website. That is also where you can search for a therapist in your local area.

Being a member of one of the professional bodies ensures that the therapist completed professional training and is under regular supervision. They are also required to maintain high ethical and professional standards of work and CPD (continuing professional development) is a mandatory requirement for membership.

  • The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has been operating since 1977 and it is a ‘professional body and a registered charity that sets standards for therapeutic practice and provides information for therapists, clients of therapy, and the public.’ Here are the most relevant links:
  • The National Counselling Society (NCS) is another professional body supporting and promoting counselling and ‘was set up in 1999 by a group of counsellors, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists and psychologists’
  • The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) maintains a list of qualified CBT practitioners:
  • The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is ‘the leading national professional body for the education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors.’
  • Other websites containing a lot of information and a register of professional counsellors and psychotherapists