top of page



more about


  • marypascallcounselling

CBT or Person-centred Therapy? Do we need to question?

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:




bottom of page