Marry a Rich Man

It’s unavoidable to point out that many therapists aren’t earning enough. A staggering 18% of our survey respondents earn less than £300 per week, with an average income of £401-500 after tax. This is partly explained by one third of people working part time – with most people we interviewed saying that this was their primary way to cope with the increased distress and pressure at work – but the problem of income also relates to two key trends; the growth of unwaged work and self-employment. 


Our survey shows that 21% of therapists work unwaged as honoraries but interestingly only 15% were trainees, with 6% representing an emerging group of mainly senior clinicians working for free – most working in the Third Sector and the NHS towards the end of their careers, presumably funded by the remaining NHS pension fund. The NHS and the Third Sector are quietly sustaining many services on unwaged work with 15% of honoraries estimating a loss of income of over £401 per week. It’s worth pointing out that as our professional bodies require clinical hours for training and professional registration we have the curious situation that the bodies charged with protecting the profession are undermining it if the future therapeutic workforce will need to be people only from affluent backgrounds.

Apparently you really do have to marry a rich man to be a psychotherapist in the UK.

To see our data on honoraries click here or the infographic below.

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