Evidence of NHS failure with nationwide depression counselling

IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and is the NHS flagship policy to bring fast and effective therapy (principally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)) to a grateful nation as it struggles with our epidemic of depression and anxieties. It is easy to be critical of such efforts – and suggesting the inevitability of NHS failure.


You will therefore be barely able to imagine my surprise to learn the results of an evaluation study on the effectiveness of IAPT. Shockingly few patients are being helped by the programme; that it costs three times more than it was originally budgeted for and that it was relying almost solely on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as treatment. Barry McInnes in Therapy Today has summarised the results:

“The combination of many people either not achieving 
a ‘case’ level of distress and/
or high levels of drop-out is contributing to the fact that little more than one in 10 of people entering treatment can be shown to have demonstrably improved. So not only is IAPT significantly under-performing against its stated aims, but it is costing over three times more than was originally estimated.”

The Human Givens Blog is the best place to go to get the essence of the evidence found against IAPT. And there you will also find a summary of some of the evidence that shows the superiority of Human Givens. Implied by this of course is the thought that if only the NHS adopted Human Givens, our problems would be over. That HG would transform IAPT.  But utterly failing to consider the far more likely outcome – that if this did happen, then the NHS would destroy the essence of Human Givens.