Anxiety Support
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Therapy advice

I'd really like to talk to someone about my anxiety issues, but I have a feeling my GP will consider my anxiety too mild to refer me to someone. What has been anyone else's experience with this? Should I not even bother and go directly private to find therapy (curious just how costly this would be per visit)? Does anyone have any resources to point me in a direction to choose a therapist who would be right for me? I live in London if that helps.

3 Replies

First, don't rule yourself out of help before you've even seen your GP. You don't know what s/he will say and what do you have to lose in going? However, be clear about how your anxiety affects you. It must be severe enough to consider seeking help so presumably it is affecting your life to a degree which is becoming unacceptable and you are entitled to some help in this as much as with any physical illness.

GPs vary in their responses as you know and resources depend on where you live. It's possible you would be referred for either counselling or CBT depending on the nature of your anxiety. Ask about both of those and whether these are available and what waiting time you can expect. Again, these vary.

Don't be fobbed off with medication alone, though it's possible you have underlying depression which a good GP should pick up on. Is this possible? Can you throw any light on how long it's been going on, whether it's got worse lately, how it affects you and what you have tried, if anything, to cope with the symptoms?

Don't play down anything and be prepared to tell the GP as much as possible in the time available. And don't leave the surgery without something concrete - an assurance that you will be referred for some talking therapy OR advice as to where you can find some low-cost therapy privately if none is available (possible but shocking - it shouldn't happen!)

Failing this, then there are other low-cost options. First, phone Anxiety UK and ask about their Therapy Membership rate. This entitles you to low-cost, quickly available therapy, depending on where you live. It varies in type but worth asking.

Secondly, try phoning MIND. Local MIND branches often have low cost counselling or therapy which you can put your name down for - ask what's available and how long you have to wait. This might depend on whether you are available during the day or not.

FInally, I'd recommend a Mindfulness meditation book by Danny Penman and MArk Williams. It has a CD at the back with short mindfulness meditations on. Mindfulness is known to be effective in helping those with anxiety and depression, but you would need to take it on as a regular practice - improvements won't happen overnight or if you just do it intermittently. It's best to attend a course of Mindfulness where you can learn techniques properly but the book is very reassuring, calming and comforting and the CD is excellent.

Hope this is of some help! Good luck.


Hi hedgecrone,

Thank you very much for this invaluable advice. It's so comforting to know there are options out there!



You can self refer to NHS anxiety services in London and other areas. Take a look here;

Also, if the waiting list is too long, or you want a cheap alternative try Anxiety UK- Their helplien and email service is free


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