Counselling has much to offer patients

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7066.1208 (Published 09 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1208
  1. Philip Sugarman,
  2. Georgia Addie
  1. Consultant United Medical and Dental School of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital, London SE1 7EH
  2. Counsellor Kent Forensic Psychiatry Service, Maidstone Hospital, Maidstone ME16 9QQ

    EDITOR,—Simon Wessely's reactionary assault on counselling expresses a hostility that is widespread among psychiatrists.1 Wessely urges the use of directive psychological treatment for specific syndromes that has been proved in comparative trials and is delivered by defined staff. He cites obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders as such specific syndromes. He mentions anxiety and depression and sexual problems, but not bereavement or difficulties with relationships. He dismisses counselling for emotional problems (using …

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