Therapy without therapists - talk for health

17 Nov 2020

I am fascinated by the power of human communication to make a difference. One of our greatest physiological needs is to ‘feel understood’. We all want to be heard and understood. Yet so many conversations don't work. True dialogue involves active focused listening, feeding back what you have heard and checking for understanding. If both people do this it leads to a highly productive feeling of mutual understanding. Therapists use this to help their clients but did you know that research has proven that ordinary people talking like this are as effective as therapists {effective therapeutic talk does not rely on professionals (Christensen and Jacobson, 1994)}.


A social enterprise called ‘Talk for Health’ was set up to help anyone be an effective lay-counsellor. With independent research, they have proved it works and it is used in the NHS in Islington. Talk for Health relieves mental illness through a psychotherapist-designed group peer counselling method. It’s a 4-day peer counselling programme followed by ongoing groups, which enable people to give and get effective therapeutic support long-term. If you would like more information on them, the website is an interesting read:


It tries to give fast access to therapeutic talk that is effective, long-lasting and empowering. When the pandemic hit they moved it online and it seems to work just as well.


I mention this because of the interest shown in  Hugo’s blog on Thursday November 5th and the many shared experiences of Moodscopers on the subject. 


Have you experienced help just by talking to someone who really listens? Have you helped someone else by simply talking and listening? I would love to know your experience and opinion.


Adrian x

The Moodscope Team.

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