CBT, EMDR and the Civil Liability Bill


“Where there’s blame, there’s a claim.” 

Due to the introduction of the Civil Liability bill, the whole industry that built up around the whiplash claims system has now had to migrate their focus to something else.  This is where psychological therapies come in.  

The Civil Liability Bill did not seek to reduce compensation claims for PTSD, Depression, adjustment disorders or other significant psychological problems emerging from a road traffic accident.  As such, developing a bank of CBT and EMDR psychotherapists to provide psychological therapies for road traffic accident related problems is now essential for Rehabilitation agencies that want to remain in business. 

So now it’s more like… 

“Where there’s emotional pain, there’s a claim.” 

What does this mean for the therapist in private practice?  To me, it means that I and other similarly qualified and skilled therapists are in demand.  And with demand comes an opportunity to negotiate appropriate levels of remuneration. 

I’m aware that some organisations have been approaching therapists and offering work at really low levels of pay.  Given that CBT and EMDR therapies are going to be one of the dominant sources of business for these organisations, I would suggest that all those approached by these agencies recognise their own value and do not accept work below a certain threshold – a suggested level would be £80 per session. 

I appreciate that there is a certain cynicism to “talking money” when it comes to delivering mental health services, especially for the therapist at the “coal face.”  I would contend however that it is this very issue that makes the claims intermediary business so profitable and insurance premiums so high.  Therapists are the people who provide value in this instance, more so than case managers and other administrative agents involved in the process. 

Further, despite insurers having to now pay out less in claims, it has been suggested that many will not pass on these savings to customers.  The government expects that, for those companies that do, the average reduction in insurance premium cost will be £40.  Please don’t spend it all at once.  

Insurers will do very well financially out of the Civil Liability bill.  Given that you will be doing the emotional work of getting people into recovery, I think you should do too. 

In sum, for the jobbing CBT or EMDR private therapist, these next few months leading up to April are a great opportunity to re-establish your position as a provider.  These organisations now need you more than you need them. Stand your ground, know your value and charge accordingly. 



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