From September 2023 Talk Changes, the IAPT service in City & Hackney, changed its
name to City and Hackney Talking Therapies. This blog post explains why.
Back in 2008 new NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services
were launched that made a simple promise to the public – to provide effective
psychological therapies to reach people experiencing the most common mental
health problems: anxiety and depression.
Before IAPT services started, the average waiting time for psychological therapy on
the NHS was 18 months. Now it is just a few weeks. The new IAPT services were
based on three important principles: that they would provide psychological therapies
recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, with well-
trained and supervised therapists, and would track and publish outcomes for every
service. This promise remains the same, although the name of services is changing.
Over the years it became clear that the name “Improving Access to Psychological
Therapies” was not very appealing or clear to most people. We wanted a new name
that was more appealing and that supported people to find the right service for them,
So, we are excited about our new name NHS Talking Therapies, for anxiety and
depression. This name was chosen after a national public consultation with close to
4,000 responses and a series of focus groups led by an independent research
So what’s in our new name?
This is an NHS commissioned service and is free at the point of access. You are
unlikely to wait more than a few weeks for an initial meeting with a skilled
This term was strongly preferred by patients and the public. It is a shorthand for the
range of psychological therapies and interventions that the service offers. Within
NHS Talking Therapies services most of the psychological therapy will be quite
practical. It may involve working through self-help materials with guidance from a
clinician, possibly via a dedicated online platform (which we call ‘digitally enabled
therapies’). It may involve help with problem solving skills or practical exercises to
examine and overcome your fears. It may involve facing and working through
traumatic memories in a safe way. It is likely to involve suggestions to follow
through between therapy sessions. And, of course, it will involve talking – in a
focused way that helps things to change for anxiety and depression:
NHS Talking Therapies services can help with the following common mental health
problems of anxiety and depression:
- body dysmorphic disorder
- generalised anxiety disorder
- health anxiety
- mixed depression and anxiety
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- panic disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- social anxiety disorder
- specific phobias (such as heights, flying, spiders etc.).
These problems may present themselves in a variety of different ways. Everyone is
different. You don’t need a “diagnosis” to come for therapy, a skilled practitioner will
help work out with you whether and how the service can help. You can refer yourself
without seeing your GP first, via the link on this website.
If you are struggling with feelings of low mood, loneliness, low self-esteem, difficulty
sleeping, stress or anxiety then don’t suffer in silence – refer yourself now to get the
support that’s right for you.