What are the different types of therapy available?

Rates of depression among adults in the UK doubled during the pandemic, according to the ONS. As a result, there is increased demand for counselling and therapy services.

If you want to retrain as a therapist or are studying towards this but are unsure which of the many different available therapy branches to specialize in, this guide is designed to help.

A career in therapy can be incredibly fulfilling and will see you provide life-changing support to those struggling with a range of different issues.


Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose and provide treatment to people with mental health issues.

In order to become a psychiatrist, you must first be a qualified medical doctor who is registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). This means that an undergraduate degree in medicine will need to have been completed before additional psychiatry training can take place.

As well as the qualifications required, you will also need to gain relevant work experience in this field. Practicing psychiatrists can then get specific therapist insurance to provide them with a layer of protection.

Clinical psychologists

Clinical psychologists support individuals with various psychological challenges, including learning disabilities, eating disorders, and addictions.

To qualify for psychologist training, you will need to complete a psychology degree that’s recognised by the British Psychological Society. You will then need to undertake the three-year doctorate programme. Once completed, you will be qualified as a Band 6 psychologist.

There are a variety of options for where you can work in this role, including in hospitals, schools, and prisons.

Counselling psychologist

Counselling psychologists use psychological and psychotherapeutic theory to help patients who are dealing with a range of mental health problems, such as personality disorders, bereavement, and domestic abuse.

Unlike other therapy branches, being accepted onto the counselling psychology training programme accepts a range of different undergrad or master’s graduates, so long as the degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Qualifying as a counselling psychologist opens up a wide range of opportunities for progressing to more senior roles in the future or moving into further specialisms.

Other branches

On top of the aforementioned therapy routes you could take, there are many other areas that you may wish to focus on throughout your career. This could be anything from relationship therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Whatever path you choose to pursue, it is important that you opt for something that you are passionate about and suits your skill set. This is something that may change over time and develop throughout your working life.