TCCR, along with the leading professional bodies for the professions of psychotherapy and counselling, has written to NICE to express concern regarding the recruitment procedure for the guideline development group covering depression in adults. TCCR highlighted that the proposed list of professionals for the development of the guidelines didn’t include either a psychotherapist or a counsellor despite the fact that both are more involved in the treatment of depression than any other professional grouping. 


As TCCR pointed out in its letter, NICE has a responsibility to ensure its guideline development groups reflect, as far as is practically possible, the views and experiences of the range of stakeholders and groups whose activities, services or care will be covered by the guideline..

In response to our letter, NICE quickly issued a clarification “to make it clear that NICE would welcome applications for the positions listed from individuals with experience of a wide range of therapeutic modalities including cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, counselling and psychodynamic therapy”.

However, as the original list of professionals invited to apply to join the guideline development group included two psychiatrists, two psychologists, a commissioner, a service user and a psychiatric nurse, NICE’s clarifying statement fails to acknowledge the central point which we made in our letter, namely that the professions of psychotherapist and counsellor should be named explicitly on the list. After all, it is psychotherapists and counsellors who do the bulk of the work to treat depression in the population. Summarising TCCR and its partners’ position, Chief Executive Susanna Abse said:

“It seems a great shame that NICE has not wanted to actively include psychotherapists and counsellors from the guideline development group for the depression in adults guideline. Research shows that 71% of people coming to TCCR – for couple therapy – suffer from mild, moderate or severe depression. With mental health high on the public agenda, evidenced by highly visible campaigns such as the recent Times initiative, it is as important as ever that NICE is seen to be working in a way that reflects the fact that the public clearly feel that psychotherapists and counsellors have much to offer them in their battle to manage and overcome depression”.

For further information contact:

John Fenna | Head of Marketing & Communications

T: 0207 380 1974 | Ext: 6108 | M: 07818092771

A: 70 Warren Street, London W1T 5PB | 10 New Street, London EC2M 4TP

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Note to editors

  1.      The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) provides a comprehensive range of affordable counselling services for couples and individuals facing relationship problems.  To find out more about the range of services offered visit or call 020 7380 1975.
  1.      TCCR also runs a variety of practitioner trainings, ranging from introductory courses to doctoral programmes in couple counselling and psychotherapy.
  2.      TCCR is recognised in its field as a centre of advanced practice and study, both nationally and internationally. Our ethos is to develop practice, research and policy activities which complement and inform the development of services to couples.