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About talking treatments

Our later years of life can bring rest, relaxation and fulfilment, but they can also bring real challenges.

Talking treatments involve talking to someone who is specially trained to help us manage our thoughts and feelings and the effect they have on our behaviour and mood.

As we get older many of us face illness, disability or have to cope with the loss of friends and family. Even without these difficulties, many of us can feel worried as we approach retirement, or have trouble adapting to life once we've stopped working. These worries can easily lead to feelings of unhappiness, anxiety and stress.

Whatever the reasons, if you or someone you know has:

  • negative thoughts or emotions,
  • a low mood and is unable to be cheered up,
  • less energy than they used to,
  • feelings of anxiety or helplessness,

then they could most probably benefit from a talking treatment.

Talking treatments are available to all of us, for free, through the NHS.

Take the first step and ask your GP about talking treatments today. You can also find a local talking treatment near you on the NHS website.

Watch our video of older people talking about their experiences of talking treatments:

Older people as a group are drastically under-represented as users of talking treatments. This might be because there has been a stigma attached to seeing a ‘therapist’ or receiving ‘counselling’. However, a quarter us will experience anxiety or feel low at some point in our life; it doesn’t mean we’re weaker or less able to cope.

Taking steps to feel better is, in fact, the most important thing you can do to treat a mental health problem.

How talking treatments helped my husband

Caroline Gladstone explains why her husband decided to give Talking Treatments a go, after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

>>Read their story

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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