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How do you get therapy for serious childhood issues if you cant afford private?

(15 Posts)
bogeyface Thu 20-Sep-12 17:12:22

Is it something a GP would refer for or would we have to approach a charity?

There is a MIND in our town but I am not sure how it works and I dont want to pour everything out to a GP that cant help!

Private therapy is simply not an option.


izzyizin Thu 20-Sep-12 17:52:56

A GP can make a referral to a NHS psychiatric/psychological unit or department of a hospital for an assessment appointment which will determine what therapy, if any, will be most beneficial to the patient.

If you preface a consultation with your GP along the lines of 'I have some longstanding issues relating to abuse I suffered in childhood that I am unable to address alone; can you please refer me to a psychologist?' it should be possible to talk in broad terms about the issues without pouring 'everything out'

In addition, there are a number of voluntary/charitable agencies who offer counselling for survivors of child abuse which may be free or require a modest donation, or the cost of which is determined by ability to pay.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 20-Sep-12 17:56:18

Don't rule out private though - a lot of counsellors I know will do very cheap (£5 or £10 an hour) therapy - they keep appointments aside so they can do it as 'almost' voluntary if they believe in accessible therapy - there's no harm in asking by email some of those closest to you geographically on the BACP website smile

Also, Mind are good but you might have a waiting list. Lots of charities do therapy, also womens centres if there's one in your town or close by.

bogeyface Thu 20-Sep-12 18:35:09

Its not about abuse, its more complicated than that but basically the issues stem from divorce between an unfaithful father and a demanding and emotionally unavailable mother and what happened after that. I am not sure there are charities that deal with that!

Thanks though, will suggest giving the GP a try.

janelikesjam Thu 20-Sep-12 18:43:06

I think GPs mainly deal with short-term CBT type therapies. Short-term CBT is probably inappropriate for the kind of problem you describe, so I am not optimistic that you will get the help you need at a GP s surgery, but you could try.

There are other options as others have described above though. Also training organisations - you can sometimes see a trainee counsellor, but that depends where you live and the standard varies. In London there are lots of them. However, if you persist (and it can take a lot of persistence) you could find someone qualified who will accept less money. When I needed it, I paid privately, at a very reasonable rate because of my income. I struggled to pay even that but it was my no. 1 priority for a time, so I was prepared to go with it. I hope you find the help you need.

izzyizin Thu 20-Sep-12 18:46:24

You may be surprised, bogey. Not many minority groups are left uncatered for these days and what you've described is likely to fall within the remit of 'abuse' or 'abandonment' issues in the view of some charity or other.

LegsForever Thu 20-Sep-12 19:13:23

Have a look for counselling charities in your area via google. I work as a counsellor for a very small charity and people pay what they can afford, so £5-£20 is typical depending on circumstances, and you can also stay for up to a year.

I also think you might find the nhs offering a bit short or CBT focussed for your needs. There's nothing wrong with what they do, but for unravelling complex childhood issues there's nothing better than long term therapy IMO.

Also look on the BACP find a therapist site, and as someone else suggested you might find a private counsellor who will do a low cost rate. It is definitely worth asking.

Sorry if message is a bit stilted - I am on my phone and can't type efficiently.

skyebluesapphire Fri 21-Sep-12 10:41:52

Do you have a child under five and a Sure Start Children's Centre near you?

bogeyface Fri 21-Sep-12 18:45:54

yes and yes smile

skyebluesapphire Fri 21-Sep-12 19:03:01

I'm getting free counselling through my children's centre

sinusaurus Fri 21-Sep-12 19:16:26

I've had therapy on the NHS on several occasions. I'm currently getting 16 weeks of CAT, but I've had psychotherapy before which may be more appropriate for your issues. I got 18 months of that, attending twice weekly. Have also had shorter periods of counselling. I've had referrals through my GP.

My issues were always taken seriously, although like yours it wasn't about abuse or anything like that.

It's quite a commitment, and there is a waiting list (I was on the list for about six months for the psychotherapy, and about three months for my current therapy). It's harder to find a suitable therapist on the NHS, as they tend to allocate ones who have vacancies/trainees who need cases to complete training. Whereas in the private sector you'd be trying them out to see if their style would suit you, not just where you'd fit into their schedule. And the NHS tend to be pretty inflexible with their session times - I needed childcare to attend my therapy as they basically only had slots during school run times.

dottyspotty2 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:09:38

My private counseller charges £5 a session it is primaraly for abuse but she is helping with the whole package so to speak most counsellers give you your first session free look in phonebook for local services.

weegiemum Fri 21-Sep-12 22:14:09

You ask for a referral to NHS clinical psychology. Waiting time can be up to 18 months though. You might get it quicker if you are prepared to see a psychiatrist or CPN and ask them to refer you to psychology.

My NHS clinical psychologist has changed my life - dealing with childhood issues of abandonment had left me with a pd and chronic severe depression. 8 months of therapy later I came off all my antidepressant and antipsychotic medication. I still see him to monitor me, but it's been a revelation. I can't thank him enough!!

sashh Sat 22-Sep-12 07:10:18

Go to your GP.

Or take an evening class - FE colleges and unis have counselling services which are free to students.

Badgerina Sat 22-Sep-12 09:43:26

I had CBT and long term personal psychotherapy through a referral to my hospital by my GP - as the first PP has described. There will be an assessment appointment and then a long waiting list, but it is SO worth it. Good luck.

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