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Thursday 24th May 2018

Talking therapies attacked

7th July 2008

Therapists have said that a £173 million government plan to improve access to cognitive behavioural therapies in England could restrict "patient choice".


The government has put aside the funding to boost the amount of therapists in the health service.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of CBT before the use of antidepressants "in mild to moderate cases".

Cognitive behavioural therapy is aimed at helping patients to find out and change the cause of their emotional issues.

Professor Mick Cooper, an expert in counselling at the University of Strathclyde, spoke at a conference at the University of East Anglia.

He said that although he was in favour of more funds for talking therapies, he did not think the "focus" on CBT was valid.

Three of his colleagues from the UK and US, along with the professor, released a statement to question why CBT was held above other therapies.

"Such claims harm the public by restricting patient choice and discourage some psychologically distressed people from seeking treatment," Professor Cooper said.

Professor David Clark, a clinical advisor to the government's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme and professor of psychology at Kings College London said: "The government's 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' initiative is not a CBT-only programme."

He added that NICE had decided to recommend CBT based on the available evidence.


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