Does it work?
Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is based on research
and techniques that have been tried and tested. People
can learn to:
• Overcome life situation difficulties,
• Manage unhelpful behaviours,
• Learn new coping skills,
• Manage unhelpful or extreme thinking,
• Change low mood and anxiety,
• Cope with physical experiences such as pain
or tension more successfully.
It is the ‘treatment of choice’ for many
of the anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress. It
has been shown to be the most useful talking therapy
for depression; and most useful psychological approach
in helping people to manage chronic pain. It also helps
in other life situations, such as relationship difficulties;
coming to terms with disabilities or getting back to
It is not a guaranteed ‘cure’ for these
difficulties, and, as with any talking therapy, it is
not possible to be completely certain whether it will
work for you without trying the approach. It works best
when the client has the opportunity to practice new
things in-between sessions.
How many sessions
will I need?
Most people benefit from between 10-15 sessions of therapy.
If the difficulty is complex, or there are several issues
to work through it can take longer. Some people have
finished therapy in six sessions. Usually, and estimated
number of sessions will be agreed after assessment,
with a date for a review to see how things are going.
Is my psychotherapist
Qualifications can be checked through the Nursing and
Midwifery Council (NMC); BABCP and BPsS. For details,
see the ‘Links’ page on this website. You
will also find Guidelines for Good Practice on the organisations’
Are there any side
Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapy does not include
any medical treatments, so it does not have side effects
in the same way as a tablet might. However, it can be
scary to try to face fears and overcome difficulties.
This means a temporary increase in anxiety can happen
at first. Working with support, this can be managed
successfully, and most people find they are able to
do so. Sometimes people involve family and friends to
support them; some people prefer to just work with the
therapist. Making changes can be a challenge, which
is why you and your therapist will discuss what making
changes might mean before starting a programme of treatment.
It is too pricey
for me, what can I do?
There are Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapists who
work in the NHS, as well as other private practitioners.
You can talk to your GP about a referral to them.
There are also self-help organisations and books; websites
etc. which can offer useful advice and support. See
the ‘links’ page for some of these.
Some private medical insurers will fund Cognitive-Behavioural
Treatments, such as BUPA and PPP. You will need a referral
from your hospital specialist. It is a good idea to
check in advance with the insurer that they are willing
to pay for the therapy.
What if I am not
happy with my treatment?
If you have any questions, comments or complaints, please
contact Helen Macdonald in the first instance. (see
the ‘ contact us’) page. If you are still
not satisfied, the next step is to contact the BABCP
(see the ‘links’ page). They have a complaints
procedure to ensure that any difficulties are resolved.
If you have any further questions, please contact
us via email, letter or telephone.