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Mental Fitness Matters Logo
by Dr Oliver Twizell

Find the right therapy for you.

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About Us

Why ’Mental Fitness Matters‘?

Well, put simply because it does matter! We believe that mental health, just like our physical health requires maintenance. As many of us work on our physical fitness we should also be focusing on our mental fitness. There are many aspects to mental health and this website aims to address all these matters. 

Mental Fitness Matters has a vision to be recognised as the trusted leading provider of psychological therapy information in the UK. We focus on: 

  • Providing informational content on ‘what therapy is’

  • Providing guidance on an individual’s approach to psychological therapy

Mental Fitness Matters are passionate about demystifying the world of psychology. Sometimes it can seem impossible to navigate the many different types of psychologists and their approaches. Therefore, we have made it our mission to add clarity to a cluttered and confusing industry.​ Mental Fitness Matters strongly believe that the client should feel comfortable with their therapist and be able to share what they need in order to work through any mental health difficulties. We provide support and guidance on how to choose your psychologist with job title definitions and qualification clarity. Mental Fitness Matters provide brief descriptions of some professions with pros, cons, and advice on what questions to ask your therapist to help navigate through any confusion. 

Dr Oliver Twizell

Dr Oliver Twizell

hcpc registered
BPS logo

I am the founder and director of Mental Fitness Matters. I am a high-performance counselling psychologist trained in all the major therapy models. I work in both private practice as well as for the NHS. I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

 

​My daily role is as a practitioner so therefore this site is not monitored regularly. 

How This Site Works

1

Fill out the

questionnaire

2

Find the right therapy for you

3

Understand what this means

​We have no interest in your money or your personal details. We simply want to help you navigate toward your best therapy, so...

No registration required

We don't share personal information

This service is completely free

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We recognise our own biases based on our therapeutic training, practitioner experience, and lived experience. However, we try to remain as impartial as possible because we realise that your therapeutic journey is unique to you. This is our best attempt at addressing the best therapeutic options for you. This said, we encourage you to seek other resources if you require further clarity.  ​This site offers the opportunity to use the information provided to tailor the support you might need but everybody’s circumstances are unique to them and there will always be individual differences. Decisions should be taken only after considering the effects on specific circumstances. Therefore, the content of this website is for information purposes only. If you are on this website then you are likely looking for meaningful support (which we all need) and we would always suggest that you speak with a licensed professional.  ​If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, it's important to know that support services are available for you to access, whatever you’re going through. If you've already been given a crisis line number to use in an emergency, it's best to call it. Otherwise you can call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours. Or text "SHOUT" to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text "YM" if you're under 19. You can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline if you are under 19. The number will not appear on your phone bill. You can also call 111 or ask for an urgent GP appointment. If you don't feel like you can keep yourself or someone else safe then call 999 or visit your local A&E. These services will only share your information if they are very worried about you or think you are in immediate danger.  To protect the site, Mental Fitness Matters is a registered trademark belonging to Dr Oliver Twizell.

Some Therapeutic Clarity

It can sometimes seem impossible to navigate the many different types of therapies and therapists. So many people try therapy and say that it’s not for them. This may be true for some, but usually when you get into the weeds of it, it boils down to either: they have not had a therapeutic approach that suits their needs; a therapist they connect with; or worse, they have not seen a qualified therapist. 

 

It’s helpful to recognise that there are good and bad professionals in all facets of therapy. The importance is ensuring you know exactly what your therapist is trained to offer, and not on what they propose to offer. Unfortunately, some can be very misleading in how they ‘sell’ themselves. They can provide the pretence of having reputable skills and experience while the small print links to rudimentary training courses often totalling only a few years, or worse days or even hours. Often as the client you are oblivious to the support you are receiving and if this is not to the standard it should be, it can have serious implications to your development as an individual as well as to your mental health. Individuals offering a service they are not properly trained in can be very dangerous for you.

With this in mind, we have provided a brief overview of things to look out for when choosing a therapist. We have also included a brief description of what some of the professions do with pros and cons of each. The hope is that this will make you better informed for your future therapy experience. Please note that this is meant as a brief guide to get you going. We suggest that you follow the guidance and search online for a more detailed understanding of therapists that appeal to you.

Therapeutic Guidance

A brief note from Dr Twizell - Founder of Mental Fitness Matters

I made a decision early in my career to become as qualified as I can be in the field of therapy. My reason for this was that it provided me with robust training in the skills required to work across many fields of therapy. Other therapist’s will have their reasons for training but it can be helpful to understand why they took their training journey, as it will likely inform the way they work. So, ask prospective therapists to give you clarity on the points below if their profiles do not paint a clear enough picture.

Robust qualifications should mean that your therapist is training at a bare minimum to a masters level. Their masters should specialise in the field of therapy they are practicing in, for example Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), or Person-Centred Therapy. People who have done training courses that were a few weeks long are nowhere near long enough to support you effectively, safely, and ethically. I’m sure you can do a crash course on how to fly a plane in a couple of days, you may even be able to sit in a simulator and fly one, but would you trust someone with this training to fly you on your holiday?!

Again, we can’t emphasise this enough, if you are contacting people and don’t have clarity on the above, then don’t be afraid to ask these questions. After all, you are parting with good money and you should want to feel confident that it is being put to good use by someone who can effectively help you. 

The Therapist

There are many different training qualifications out there and hopefully the definitions of job titles below helps you navigate your way through any confusion. One word of caution: there are differences within each role below, so this is only meant as a set of guidelines for understanding who’s who. There will always be exceptions to these general rules.

If you are uncertain about a specific therapist we recommend that you research their credentials. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the most reputable place to check accredited professionals. You can check their register here by inputting their surname and selecting their profession.

“Counselling psychologists use psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and research. They work to reduce psychological distress and to promote the wellbeing of individuals, groups and families” (NHS definition).

For counselling psychologists, the relationship is considered to be central to understanding particular psychological difficulties and how these apply. They treat a wide range of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, 'personality disorder', negative life events, bereavement, domestic violence, sexual, emotional and physical abuse, trauma and relationship issues. Counselling psychologists work using a range of counselling skills, techniques, and approaches that are informed by psychological knowledge and research. This is usually a self-funded doctorate, but there is also an alternative route to those undertaking a professional doctorate at university known as the Qualification in Counselling Psychology (QCoP) which is the independent route to training as a counselling psychologist, but all will have a thorough robust training. The practical training requirements are in fact more robust than clinical psychologists and focuses on specific therapeutic one-to-one experience with a range of clients. 

A final important aspect for you to consider aside from qualifications and type of therapy, is what we call ‘therapeutic rapport’, which basically means whether you feel there is a fit between you and the therapist. There is nothing wrong with any of the professions above, as long as you understand the merits and pitfalls of the training and the approach of your therapist, if therapeutic rapport is there then you can’t go too far wrong.

The Therapy

Sometimes it can feel like there are as many different types of therapy as there are therapists out there. It's true that there are a lot of different therapeutic approaches, but for simplicity we have distilled them into three: person-centred therapy; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); and Integrative or Pluralistic. We've added some detail below on the three with some explanations. We've also added some other types that fit within these three families.

“Person-centred therapy seeks to facilitate a client's self-actualizing tendency, ‘an inbuilt proclivity toward growth and fulfilment’, via acceptance (unconditional positive regard), therapist congruence (genuineness), and empathic understanding.” (Wikipedia Definition)

 

Person-centred therapy typically guides you rather than leads you. This is a skill typically practiced by a humanistic therapist, more commonly known as a person-centred therapist. Humanistic therapy is more of an umbrella term, with other therapies sitting underneath. Person-centred is the big brother, it’s the biggest and most popular. However, it has siblings who have significant value. These siblings include: gestalt, existential therapy, solution-focused therapy, transactional analysis, positive therapy and schema therapy. There are specific person-centred therapists and there are also some therapists that have person-centred therapy as the cornerstone of their approach while also using other approaches. Therapists who use this approach, as the name suggests, puts you in the centre of the process and works with whatever you wish to address, so you have the autonomy in your therapy sessions. The premise of this is that you are the driver rather than the passenger in therapy. You decide where to go in each therapy session and the therapist simply observes and guides you through this. While person-centred therapy is credible and effective for all mental health struggles, there are some specific areas where you may require specialist direction. Discuss this with your therapist because the approach will be unique to you.

Gestalt therapy is centred on increasing a person's awareness, freedom, and self-direction. It focuses on the present moment rather than past experiences. Gestalt therapy is based on the idea that people are influenced by their present environment.

Existential therapy encourages the client to use their free will to create a life of meaning or to find a meaning in their current life.

Solution focused therapy is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems that brought the client to therapy.

A final important aspect for you to consider aside from qualifications and type of therapy, is what we call ‘therapeutic rapport’, which basically means whether you feel there is a fit between you and the therapist. There is nothing wrong with any of the therapeutic approaches above, it's what feels most appropriate for you.

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