Last updated on 20th September 2010
I was fascinated by this "One in five Britons ..." article in last month's Observer newspaper. I'm "in the business" and I was still surprised by the findings. Apparently the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) commissioned an independent polling organization to survey 1,400 British adults. The headline findings were that "Almost one person in five has consulted a counsellor or psychotherapist, while almost half the population know someone who has, according to a survey by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which suggests that the stigma attached to "talking therapies" is disappearing. The association says that attitudes towards counselling and psychotherapy appear to have changed markedly since it conducted a comparable investigation in 2004. The current survey found that 94% of people now consider it acceptable to have counselling and psychotherapy for anxiety and depression, compared with just 67% in 2004. Similarly, public acceptability of therapy for divorce or relationship breakdown has risen from 52% to 85% over the past six years."
The survey also found that "83% believe it is better to talk to someone about their problems than to take medication" and that "people are no longer leaving it to the last minute to seek professional support. Most now accept that getting help can stop their condition from deteriorating. This view is shared almost universally - nearly 95% of those polled believe that "it is a good idea to seek counselling or psychotherapy for a problem before it gets out of hand", while 88% thought that "people might be happier if they took action to talk to a counsellor or psychotherapist about their problems".
Very interesting. And the BACP website adds a few further regional titbits. Apparently "More than a quarter of people in Wales - 27% - have consulted a counsellor or psychotherapist, compared to only one in five in England" while "Two thirds of Scots - 67% - want their employer to provide a confidential counselling service to enable to them to deal with workplace stress and the effects of the recession" and "85% of those in Scotland believe that workplace stress is an acceptable reason to seek counselling and psychotherapy." Times change ...