What can I expect from the sessions?
- The number of sessions required varies, but you can expect to attend anywhere between 6 and 20 sessions. The average number of sessions required for optimal outcomes is usually 10-12.
- Each session will last approximately 50 minutes.
- Although CBT is a very present focussed therapy, I may also ask you questions about your past life and background in order to understand how it is affecting you now.
- You decide on your short, medium and long term therapy goals in order to direct the treatment.
- We will usually start each session by agreeing on what to discuss that day to ensure that the therapy is tailored to your specific needs. This is called agenda setting.
- I would be regularly checking with you that you are finding the treatment useful and that you feel comfortable with it.
What can I expect from the therapy?
- We will look together at your thoughts, feelings and behaviours in order to identify if they are unhelpful, and how they impact on each other and on you.
- Together we will work out how to challenge unhelpful thoughts and behaviours
- It is sometimes easier to talk about making changes, but much harder to actually do it. So, at the end of each session, I will help you to identify “homework” to enable you to practise the new skills and strategies learnt in your everyday life.
- At each meeting we will discuss how you’ve got on since the previous session. I will be able to help with suggestions if any of the tasks seem too difficult or don’t seem to be helping.
- I will never ask you to do things you don’t feel comfortable with. You decide the pace of the treatment and what you will and won’t try.
- You can continue to practise and develop your skills even after the treatment is complete. This would make it less likely that your difficulties will return. In summary, the aim is to help you become your own self-therapist.
How effective is CBT?
CBT has one of the strongest evidence-bases for effectiveness of all the models of psychotherapy and is recommended by NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) for a whole range of difficulties. Like all therapies, it has the best chance of success if it makes sense to you, you feel you are able to trust your therapist, and you are fully committed to the therapy and to making changes in order to feel better.
Are sessions confidential?
Yes, sessions are confidential and what we discuss will remain between us. I abide by the BABCP’s (British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics which specify how confidentiality of clients must be respected, and I do take this very seriously. Information will only be shared with other professionals as per prior agreement with yourself. There are some limits to confidentiality which apply to situations where information comes to light that may indicate that there is some risk to you or someone else, but this would always be discussed with you if applicable.
What safeguards are in place?
In order to maintain my accreditation with the BABCP (British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies) and to ensure safe and effective practice, I am required to receive regular clinical supervision and to attend and participate in regular training in order to keep my knowledge and skills up to date. Any discussions between me and my supervisor would also be confidential and are for the purpose of maintaining a high standard of therapy. I adhere to the BABCP’s Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics. I have full professional indemnity insurance.