Counselling or talking therapies involve discussing personal experiences and issues with a person who is trained to listen in a safe and confidential place.

Many people find it helps to talk about themselves and their concerns in a way that you often can’t do with family and friends. It can help if you’re struggling with things like feelings of depression, anxiety or excessive worry, or other emotional difficulties.

You can access counselling or talking therapy for free on the NHS. You can refer yourself directly to many services without a referral from a GP, or a GP can refer you.

Low-cost services and private (paid-for) counselling may also be an option if they fit within your budget.

Find local counselling services

Free NHS services

If you think talking therapy might be right for you, you can refer yourself to Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LMWS). This local NHS service offers guided self-help and referrals for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and counselling for depression.

Learn more about the different types of talking therapies and counselling on the NHS website.

Learn more about CBT, including what to expect, the pros and cons of CBT and how to find a CBT therapist.

Find an NHS talking therapies service. Help is available in person, by video, over the phone or as an online course.

Low-cost services

Leeds Mind offers low-cost self-referral counselling and psychotherapy to anyone who lives in the Leeds area.

Northpoint Wellbeing offers a range of services including therapy and counselling in the Leeds area.

Phoenix Health and Wellbeing offer a subsidised service with limited sessions for people who have chronic mental, physical and emotional health issues and low income. You will need to be referred by your GP, a medical professional, healthcare practitioner or support worker.

The Marketplace provides a range of free and confidential drop-in, telephone and counselling services to young people aged 11-25 years old.

Private (paid for) services

Look for a counsellor who is a member of a national body such as the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), or the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

Looking for a private counsellor? Go to the It’s Good to Talk website or visit the Counselling Directory and search by location or by what’s worrying you. You can find out more about finding a qualified therapist or counsellor on the NHS website.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) – what is therapy and counselling?

Autistic people might benefit from accessing autism-specific counselling. Visit Leeds Autism AIM and see their Mental Health Guide for Autistic Adults for more information.