D. Veale, Chloe Bowles, Mara Avramescu
Dec 20, 2021
The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
Abstract Over the past decade, provision of cognitive behaviour therapy has expanded massively in the UK, both within the private sector and through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Our aim in this study was to explore and compare the brand names adopted by IAPT and private CBT services. We obtained the names of all the IAPT and private services in England and created a word cloud for each sector. There was no significant difference in the proportion of services that adopted a brand name (72% of IAPT services vs 67% of the private services). In those with a brand name, IAPT services were significantly more likely than private services to contain positive words, and to have a theme of togetherness and collaboration. However, private services were more likely to include a psychological therapy in their name and have a theme of efficacy compared with IAPT. The most common keywords in IAPT services were ‘talking’ and ‘thinking’. IAPT services use a variety of euphemisms such as ‘talking’ for a psychological therapy. There is no theme for ‘doing’ in the IAPT or private services, despite behavioural interventions being one of the most common therapeutic components. The brand names in IAPT are overwhelmingly positive and convey the hope of a good outcome. They do not include the experience of difficult emotions, such as sadness and fear during therapy. We found just one private service that evoked the history of CBT named after Vic Meyer. Perhaps we will have some Clark and Layard centres in the years to come! Key learning aims After reading this paper, the reader should: (1) Recognise the importance of a brand name in shaping service user expectations. (2) Understand the differences between how private CBT and IAPT services present themselves to the public. (3) Recognise the omission of words conveying an active ‘doing’ theme in IAPT and private CBT service names.