Initially you will be offered 4-6 sessions with a CBT therapist to see how you find the approach. Each session lasts an hour. These sessions will generally be weekly. Your therapist will then review and discuss with you if treatment helping and how many further sessions might be helpful. The average number of sessions is 12.
CBT is different from counselling. It is structured and based around the goals you would like to achieve. It is active therapy focused on the “here and now”, and looks at how your thoughts and feelings and behaviours may maintain low mood or an anxiety difficulty. You will be given a leaflet to explain about CBT. If you have been offered EMDR you will also be given some further information. CBT has good research evidence that shows it is helpful for depression and anxiety difficulties; EMDR has evidence to show effectiveness in treating trauma.
The symptom measure questionnaires are one way of measuring the difficulties you are experiencing with depression or anxiety and the level of impact on your daily life. They help you and the therapist see if the symptoms are reducing or getting better, and will therefore help to guide the treatment you are offered. It may also help the therapist to specifically target areas that remain difficult for you.
Using these measures means we are able to demonstrate that we are helping people we see overcome their difficulties in an effective way.
CBT requires some commitment of your time and effort. You will benefit more from treatment if you are able to undertake home practice between sessions. Your therapist will work with you to set up “in between session tasks” that will help you to make changes and progress with your difficulties. If you are concerned that it will not be possible for you to complete home practice, please do not be afraid to discuss this with your therapist. We will try our best to help you problem solve any barriers to accessing treatment. It is the home practice tasks that enable people to make changes and recover from low mood or anxiety
The service is in huge demand. If you cannot make an appointment, it is important that you contact either your CBT therapist, with at least 24 hours’ notice, to cancel. This is so that the room and appointment slot can be offered to someone else. If you cannot get through, please leave a message stating your name, your CBT therapist's name, your appointment date and the reason for cancelling. Your therapist will then contact you to rearrange. Your therapist will rarely cancel an appointment, but will give you as much notice as possible should unforeseen circumstances arise.
What will happen if I have cancelled or did not attend?
Should you miss an appointment without notification, your therapist will call you during the time of the appointment in an attempt to rearrange. If your therapist cannot get hold of you, they will send a letter and allow two weeks for you to contact to rearrange. If we do not hear from you, we will assume you no longer wish to engage in treatment and will discharge you from our service.
If your therapist is able to speak with you, or you call in, the therapist can rebook the appointment.
We understand that there are sometimes reasons why people are not able to attend appointments. We will try and be as flexible as possible to enable you to attend appointments. However, if you are unable to attend regular appointments we will assume that now is not the right time to engage in treatment with our service. You will benefit more from this type of treatment if you are able to attend sessions regularly. In some instances we can signpost you to other services that may be more suitable for you if you cannot attend on a regular basis. It is really important to prioritise coming along to the appointment. It will really help you to recover from your difficulties.
Your therapist will very often be with a client either before or after your allotted appointment, so it is important for both you and your therapist to be prompt timekeepers! If you are very late the therapist may not be able to see you, as their clinics are generally very full.
We offer some appointments out of working hours and some places where we can see you are linked with Children’s Centres to enable childcare.
We keep our clinical notes on a secure electronic system that only people working directly within the Depression and Anxiety Service have access to. We work in partnership with your GP and copy the letters we send to you to them. If we are concerned about your safety, or the safety of other people, we may need to speak further with your GP and/or other services. We will always discuss this with you. If you have concerns about the sharing of information, please ask your therapist about this.