Finding A Therapist In UK (for dummies!)

I'm looking for a Therapist (UK) which I've never done before. All my Therapists up to this point have worked at the Hospital/Placement that I've been at so I've never had to look for my own.
I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to get myself a 'private' Therapists yet, I just want to keep that option open because I know NHS waiting lists can be lengthy. I might get lucky, but I also might have to wait a while, especially for EMDR as (I think) they're limited with CMHT (and with even longer waiting lists). I'd like to start recovering properly sooner rather than later, and Therapy is the biggest thing that can help do that!

The question: Is there anything you looked for in particular when you were picking a Therapist? I know there's loads of different types (Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors) - I'm not bothered by fancy titles at all, are there any differences?
There's also a ton of qualifications - BCAP, MBCAP, MUKCP, etc and I've tried googling it an still got confused - are they all different versions of a smiliar thing?
I know I'm looking so someone who does EMDR, is there any other therapies that are useful when you're doing EMDR? like ACT or CBT/DBT?
Is Psychology Today a good website to find one?


Hi @Tricerachops

I’m in the U.K. too. If I were looking for a new private therapist I would go with someone who is a register member of BACP or UKCP. You can search their websites for members.

Well doing is also a good site - you can search for all sorts of criteria (eg by geographical area, modality, specialism) and it’ll filter for you and display ones that meet your requirements. I think (but not 109% sure) practitioners need to be a member of one of those key bodies in order to get a listing on Welldoing too.

Also something practical to think about - most therapists here aren’t doing face-to-face appointments at the moment so you could always go with someone outside your geographical area if they seem like a great match as it doesn’t matter where you both are for online/phone sessions. Though it would be worth a conversation early on to see if you are both happy to continue with virtual sessions once the possibility for in-person opens up again.

I think Psychology Today has far more US listings, though there are some U.K. people on there. But I’d go for the other sources first.


They’re the two main governing bodies. Worth choosing a therapist who is a member of one or both of them as they will have had to prove a standard of training to join. Plus, they need to be bound by their code of ethics - and if something goes wrong, they will have a complaints procedure.

It’s hard to know what will happen with in-person work, I think. I’m sure there will be plenty of therapists (and clients) eager to get back to face-to-face work with clients when they can. But I wonder if the flexibility of online work will appeal and some will keep doing it either instead of or, perhaps more likely, in addition to in-person.

I’m not a therapist but do 1:1 development work with clients and, during the pandemic, my work has completely shifted to online. Although I quite miss in-person sessions, I do save a lot of travel time and money working online from home. And it also enables me to provide more flexibility for clients. So, I anticipate keeping an option for online whenever things get ‘back to normal.’ My therapist is thinking the same about her work.

I guess with therapy it might also depend on the modality. Though I have heard of EMDR happening online, not just standard talk therapy.