What to Expect

CBT sessions

Therapy will be carried out within 1-to-1 sessions, either face-to-face in a clinic setting or via a remote secure telehealth platform.

You’ll usually meet with me for between 8 and 20 weekly or fortnightly sessions, with each session lasting approximately 50 minutes. This is an estimate, as the length of treatment will depend on the nature of your difficulties and pacing of our sessions.

Exposure therapy sessions usually last longer to ensure your anxiety reduces during the session. This approach may take place in a specific setting that involves your fear, which will be discussed beforehand.

These sessions have been absolutely invaluable, and I really can’t thank you enough.”

– Claire (client)

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all you’ve done for [C], he’s come such a long way under your care.

M, J & C  (Client & Family)

First sessions

The first few sessions will be spent making sure CBT is the right therapy for you, and that you’re comfortable with the process. CBT is generally pragmatic, structured, collaborative, and focusses primarily on problems in the here-and-now.

To develop a path forwards, I will ask questions about your life and background, and try to understand your difficulties in more detail. If you’re anxious or depressed, then I will ask whether it interferes with your family, work and social life. I’ll also ask about events that may be related to your problems, treatments you’ve had, and what you would like to achieve through therapy.

If CBT seems appropriate, I will let you know what to expect from a course of treatment. If it’s not appropriate, or you do not feel comfortable with it, I can recommend alternative treatments.

I may suggest an ‘integrative’ approach, such as combining CBT with other therapeutic skills such as ACT or DBT Skills. We would discuss the reasons for this, and how these additional skills could help you achieve your goals.

Ellie has helped me massively… so, thank you very much!

– Eddy (Client)

Further sessions

After the initial assessment, you’ll start working with me to break down problems into their separate parts. To help with this, I may ask you to keep a diary or write down your thought and behaviour patterns moving forwards.

We will analyse your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to work out the effect they have on each other and on you. I will be able to help you work out how you may be able to do things differently. I may encourage you to think about the problem from a different viewpoint or to simply observe them without getting caught up in responding to them.

After working out what you can do differently, you will be asked to practise making these changes in your daily life. You may be asked to do some “homework” between sessions to help with this process.

At each session, you’ll discuss with me how you’ve got on with putting the changes into practice and what it felt like. I will then be able to make other suggestions to help you move forwards.

We may look at more longstanding beliefs that may be maintaining your difficulties, with a view to shifting your perspective of yourself, the world, or the future.

Confronting fears and anxieties can be very difficult. I won’t ask you to do things you do not want to do and will only work at a pace you’re comfortable with. During your sessions, I will check you’re comfortable with the progress you’re making. We will typically arrange a ‘review session’ after 6 weeks of therapy to check that we are on the right path towards your goals.

One of the biggest benefits of CBT is that after your treatment has finished, you can continue to apply the coping skills learned to your daily life. CBT can help you get to a point where you can tackle unhelpful cycles without the input of a therapist, and instead are able to confidently apply the skills learned from our sessions. Essentially, I will be enabling you to ‘become your own therapist’ during our work together. This should make it less likely that your symptoms will return in the future.