Types of treatment
We don't believe in a 'one size fits all' approach to treatment, so we offer a range of treatment types. The most common of these are:
Psychotherapy or counselling
Patients are seen on their own. Appointments are usually held weekly, but occasionally less often. The therapy normally takes place at the same time and in the same room, as this consistency helps people get the most out of their treatment. We also try to allow patients to take the lead in sessions. Although this can sometimes feel uncomfortable when there are silences, we find it’s beneficial for patients to set the agenda.
When the patient is a child, we will normally work with the family too.
Family members, in different combinations, take part directly in family therapy sessions. The therapy can be used effectively for difficulties that both children and adults face. Understanding everyone’s view is important, and talking together can help families discover ways to bring about change.
Families work either with a single therapist, or sometimes alongside one or more other therapists. The other therapists may be in the same room, or will sometimes observe using a one-way mirror. This will be explained in advance if it is going to happen.
Meetings often take place every two to three weeks, but this will be decided with the family.
Family therapy is also known as systemic therapy. It sees family and other relationships as an important factor in psychological health. All family members will usually be influenced by the problem, and will also be able to influence it, so involving families in solutions is often beneficial.
Patients are seen on their own once a week, or sometimes more frequently. The therapy normally takes place at the same time and in the same room, as this consistency helps people get the most out of their treatment. Rather than start sessions with questions, the therapist will usually follow the patient's lead.
Understanding builds up as the therapist and the patient develop a relationship, and the therapist is therefore likely to draw attention to this relationship as the work progresses.
Treatment normally lasts a year, or sometimes more, but it is reviewed regularly.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, is a relatively short-term treatment, and is normally used for relatively mild depression and anxiety.
With this treatment, patients usually have between eight and twelve sessions, and will work on specific goals in partnership with their therapist. Between sessions, patients are often set 'homework' tasks to do, such as completing diaries or practising different ways of doing things.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
Interpersonal therapy, or IPT, focuses primarily on relationship problems. It looks at the ways in which current difficulties in relationships contribute to psychological stress, and the ways in which psychological problems affect relationships. It aims to help people recognise the problems they face with others and make changes in their relationships.
Patients typically have 16 sessions of IPT.
Patients are seen in carefully selected groupings related to their problems or experiences and appointments are usually held once a week. Most of our groups meet for a minimum period of one year.
We use a variety of approaches to group work, depending on the nature of the issues, and it’s therefore suitable for people of all ages.
Parent training groups
Working in groups with other parents who have experienced similar difficulties can be very supportive, and parents can get good ideas from the strategies others are using. These groups tend to run for eight to twelve meetings, with tasks given to parents to work on between sessions.
Our parent training groups are well established and research shows that they are generally very effective.
Couples are seen together, with the work focusing on their relationship as a couple.
We offer different kinds of couple work, both short- and medium-term, depending on each couple’s specific needs.
Sometimes our doctors will consider it appropriate to prescribe medication for a particular psychological difficulty, such as attention difficulties or depression. If so, we will discuss this with patients first, and explain the process and possible side effects. If you would like further information about your medication you can search for further information on the British National Formulary website.