The first appointment will be an assessment. During the assessment I will ask you questions to help me understand the main problems you are experiencing and to determine if CBT could help you. I will ask you to describe your difficulties and how they are impacting on your life. I will also ask you about what triggered the problems and if there have been any events in your life which you think might have contributed to how you are feeling now. It will help to know about any other treatments or therapies you have tried, and what you hope to achieve.
CBT Therapy has a clear start, middle and end. Therapy begins with assessment. After the assessment we have the ‘treatment’ phase. This is when we will work together to address your problems. The final phase is when we prepare for ending and make sure you have a plan for the future.
Structure of appointments
CBT appointments are quite structured. In all your appointments (after the assessment), we will start by agreeing what would be useful to do in the session. We typically begin by reviewing your week and end by planning for the following week. The main focus of the session will depend on the problems you want to address.
In CBT we actively encourage people to do “homework” (which I know can make people shiver!). Examples of homework are reading, diaries and exercises to do between sessions. Doing these tasks can sometimes be hard, but can really help to improve symptoms. With this in mind, I am happy to discuss any suggested tasks and adapt them when possible.
Skype or Telephone Therapy
We usually recommend that your first appointment is face-to-face. However you may find it more convenient to have some of your appointments over the telephone or via Skype.