The number of sessions you are offered with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP), will depend on your individual requirements and need. Each session lasts around 20-30 minutes. These sessions will generally be weekly/fortnightly.
The average is four sessions, but it can be between two and eight. Your initial appointment will be slightly longer, and take around 45 minutes.
Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) are different from counsellors. You can think of your PWP as a coach, helping you to set goals and supporting you in achieving these. Your PWP will provide you with self-help materials, to aid you in achieving your goals.
All self-help materials are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This therapy looks at the relationship between your thoughts (cognitions), behaviours and physical feelings. By making changes in one of these areas you can break the vicious cycles that are maintaining your difficulty. CBT has been evidenced to be very effective in alleviating low mood and anxiety. Your PWP will talk to you in more detail about this. Please do not hesitate to ask your PWP questions if you remain unsure about this approach.
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 PWP 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 PWP 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.
Your PWP may offer some or all of the appointments by telephone. If this is difficult for you, please discuss with your PWP if this would be difficult for you. Our face to face appointments can be in a variety of locations, including our base, GP surgeries or other community settings, to enable you to come along easily to see us.
CBT-based guided self-help 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 PWP will support you in setting manageable goals. 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 PWP. 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 effective changes.
The service is in huge demand. If you cannot make an appointment, it is important that you contact your PWP, giving 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 PWPs name, your appointment date and the reason for cancelling. Your PWP will then contact you to rearrange. Your PWP will rarely cancel an appointment, but will give you as much notice as possible should unforeseen circumstances arise.
Should you miss an appointment without notification, your PWP will call you during the time of the appointment in an attempt to rearrange. If your PWP 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 PWP is able to speak with you, or you call in, the PWP 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 PWP will very often be with a client either before or after your allotted appointment, so it is important for both you and your PWP to be prompt timekeepers! If you are very late the PWP 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 PWP about this.