The notion of 'stiff upper lip' and 'get on with it' has declined and more people are now seeking ‘talking therapy’.

The employment of a professional therapist when someone is emotionally upset is now more acceptable and has therefore created a growing demand for therapists; indeed the rise in its importance reflects the rise in popularity of therapy generally. Increasing access to psychological therapy is widely recognised as the way forward for dealing with depression, anxiety disorders and stress.

Talking therapy involves talking about problems with a trained professional and includes:

  • cognitive behaviour therapy
  • counselling
  • psychotherapy
  • dialectical behaviour therapy

The term psychological therapy refers to a range of interventions to help people understand and make changes to their thinking, behaviour and relationships to relieve distress and to improve their functioning, well-being and quality of life. The most common psychological therapy modalities include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Psychological therapies workforce
The psychological therapies workforce is a very important element in realising the Government’s ambitions to improve outcomes for people with mental health problems.

Mental ill health constitutes the largest source of burden of disease in the UK. No other health condition matches mental illness; it contributes almost 23 per cent of the overall burden of disease compared to about 16 per cent each for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

‘Half of mental health patients wait over three months to see a therapist for treatment’

Effective workforce planning across organisations delivering and commissioning psychological therapies will be crucial for the future development of the workforce as a whole and for professional training and practice.