We are relational beings.
Talking is an important part of our relationships. It can strengthen your ties with other people and help you stay in good mental health. And being listened to helps you feel that other people care about you and what you have to say.

Talking about your thoughts and feelings can help you deal with times when you feel troubled about something. If you turn a worry over and over in your mind, the worry can grow.

We often find it helpful to talk problems through with a friend or family member, but sometimes friends and family cannot help us, and we need to talk to a professional therapist.

Talking therapies involve talking to someone who is trained to help you deal with your negative feelings. They can help anyone who is experiencing distress. You do not have to be told by a doctor that you have a mental health problem to seek out the benefits you can gain from a talking therapy.

Talking therapies give people the chance to explore their thoughts and feelings and the effect they have on their behaviour and mood. Describing what’s going on in your head and how that makes you feel can help you notice any patterns which it may be helpful to change. It can help you work out where your negative feelings and ideas come from and why they are there.

Understanding all this can help people make positive changes by thinking or acting differently. Talking therapies can help people to take greater control of their lives and improve their confidence.

Talking therapies may also be referred to as:

  • Talking treatments

  • Counseling

  • Psychological therapies or treatments

  • Psychotherapies

The various terms used to describe talking therapies often mean different things to different people. Some people use them to describe the level of training of the professional delivering the therapy. But sometimes there is no link between a therapist’s training and the name of the therapy they offer.

There are no set definitions so it’s important to ask about a therapist’s level of training.