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  • marypascallcounselling

So, which is more effective - CBT or Person-centred Therapy? It's a question that practitioners have been debating for decades.

Many mental health services and their clients are of the opinion that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the best therapeutic approach for depression and anxiety. However, it would appear that this prevailing opinion may be due to CBT being the most researched form of therapy (Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2018; 9: 4; published online 2018; © 2018 David, Cristea and Hofmann) and to the predominant use of CBT in the NHS (Mental Health Today, June 2017).

Now, with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's (BACP) recent announcement of the results of research into the efficacy of Person-centred Experiential Therapy (PCET) compared with CBT, such opinion looks set to change. For, according to the findings, PCET is as effective as CBT for depression.

'The most important finding from the study was that it found no evidence of any meaningful difference in the outcomes that participants achieved between PCET and CBT either at six months after entering the trial or at the end of their therapy. This finding held across a range of outcome measures and the evidence strongly suggests that PCET is as effective as CBT in the treatment of depression in the short-term' (BACP, May 14, 2021).

The hope of the BACP is that the findings, published in The Lancet Psychiatry ( May 14, 2021) will encourage the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to recommend a wider choice of talking therapies. This could see a change in the provision of counselling in the NHS.

The BACP funded research was led by the University of Sheffield. The BACP is a professional association for members of the counselling professions in the UK. The NHS offers CBT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and talking therapies.

You can find out more about Person-centred Counselling, CBT and EMDR, using the following links:,these%20to%20manage%20your%20problems.&text=%E2%80%9CYou%20and%20your%20therapist%20work,that%20will%20bring%20eventual%20change.%E2%80%9D,your%20mental%20health%20and%20wellbeing.&text=EMDR%20helps%20you%20to%20see,symptoms%20that%20you%20were%20suffering.


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  • marypascallcounselling

At this stage of the pandemic, as we approach a so-called 'return to normal' in the UK, many are wondering exactly what 'normal' is going to look like. Some can't wait to return to the playground. Some remain wary, concerned about the possibility of another spike, like the increase that followed last Christmas and the devastation seen elsewhere.

And there is another concern, not so readily shared: that for some of us, lockdown restrictions have offered some respite; a great escape from the hurried pace of the world.

Pre-lockdown not everyone was enamoured with their schedules and routines.

Undeniably the move in and out of lockdown in response to Covid-19, over the past year, has challenged the mental health of many. But, pre-lockdown, not everyone was enamoured with their schedules and routines.

If you were struggling to achieve a work-life balance, lockdown blew that all away. After a period of adjustment, some have recognised a preference for a slower pace. Now, faced with a 'return to normal', they are dreading a return to a lifestyle that had previously left them feeling challenged and depleted.

This is a fear that is not easy to voice - not in the face of the loss and devastation caused by the pandemic. You may feel guilty for wanting what has been brought about by necessity and you may fear being judged for this.

You may feel guilty for wanting what has been brought about by necessity.You may fear being judged for this.

You may feel fortunate to have an income, a job where you do not feel at risk, micro-managed and under pressure to increase your output. Perhaps you switched to working from home and have discovered that you are comfortable working this way. You may be on reduced hours or have been furloughed and have found that you have been able to use your available time in a fulfilling way.

It may be worth taking some time to evaluate where you are now, what works for you and whether this can continue. And if fear of judgement and feelings of guilt are causing anxiety, it's worth seeking support.

If you think therapy may help, you can consult your GP or self-refer through the NHS online. Your employer may offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). If you are a student, you can approach Student Welfare Services. There are charities offering free and low-fee counselling services.

If you wish to seek the help of a registered private therapist, you can search the therapist directories offered by counselling bodies and networks, such as BACP and BAATN.

You may find the following links useful:,therapies%20service%20(IAPT)%20online.

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