Which therapy is right for me?


I work at a clinic where many people rent rooms. As well as aromatherapy and massage therapists, there is Clinical Psychology, NLP, “Thrive”, Osteopathy, Acupuncture CBT, mindfulness just to name a few and that is just from one clinic in Cambridge.

With talking therapies, there is a lot of research suggesting that the relationship with the therapist makes more difference than they type of therapy. There is also evidence suggesting that the more experienced a therapist is, the less obvious it is to an observer what therapy their main training is in. This makes sense as experienced therapists often have training in more than one modality and will become more eclectic as time goes on, using the techniques most appropriate to an individual client.

Massage therapists too learn new techniques as they work to keep up to date with their CPD requirements etc. In this sphere too I would argue that feeling comfortable with the therapist is more important than the type of massage.

There are obvious exceptions to this of course. Sports massage would not be the first choice for someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or depression. Aromatherapy would not be the first choice for a rugby player with an injury from that sport though there may be other good reasons for an athlete to visit an aromatherapist.

First, decide what you want to get from an appointment with a therapist. Then look at a few websites of therapists who claim to offer what you want. Have a think about whether they can deliver what they claim.  Be wary of extravagant claims. Be especially careful of any claims that you can do without medical aid or drugs that you already get via GP or hospital services.

That is not to say that complementary therapies can not sometimes enable you to do without medication. I have used aromatherapy as a supportive treatment for withdrawal from medication for both anxiety and depression. However this was with GP support.

Other practitioners will sometimes be able to get rid of pain. One of my fellow practitioners specialises in this area. However her marketing does not claim to guarantee this! If it did, then I would be very suspicious.

And lastly, don’t automatically go for the cheapest you can find. Yes good therapists sometimes do cheap deals. I do myself sometimes. But when you pay £50 for an hour and a half, you are paying for not just that time but also for any time writing up notes afterwards, preparing the room. (In my case getting the room ready and clearing it afterwards takes at least fifteen minutes. I will also have towels to wash and dry etc. etc.

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