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FAQs about starting CBT Therapy

All Your Questions Answered Before Making An Appointment

Here, you can find out whether CBT therapy and counselling (face-to-face or online) may be for you, the average duration of the treatment, confidentiality issues, technical requirements to start counselling, how to make an appointment, how effective CBT therapy is compared with other counselling treatments, etc.

If your questions are not answered in this section, please contact us for additional information. Please click on each question to access the answer.

What is Counselling and what's the difference with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Counselling provides a forum where individuals or couples come together with a Counsellor to seek solutions to a specific problem, to learn new coping skills, to become better organised, to find an answer about a life dilemma, to function more maturely or to clarify what is ailing them.

While CBT is sometimes considered a counselling approach, it goes beyond because CBT can effectively treat a broader range of disorders, that wouldn't usually respond to counselling such as panic disorder, OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.

CBT is the therapy of choice for most problems because it has a large body of evidence-based interventions, which have been scientifically proven by more than 500 Randomised Control Trials. Here's a page to read more about what CBT involves.

What does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy involve?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an active type of psychotherapy whereby a client and practitioner talk, act, and work together to achieve agreed-upon therapeutic goals. Clients can expect to work actively within each session, as well as receiving guided assignments to be completed between sessions.

These between-session assignments, home tasks, or homework are always personalised depending on the client's therapeutic needs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy highlights the fact that it is our beliefs, interpretations, and perceptions of life events that determine our feelings, moods, and, ultimately, our actions. Therefore, a universal goal of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is to help people identify, understand, and modify their maladaptive or unhealthy beliefs as well as their self-defeating behaviours in order to function more effectively. Read more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

How do I get started?

You can contact us to make an enquiry or make an appointment, but you can also phone us directly on +442890586361. Bear in mind that we based in the UK. Therefore, if you live in a different time zone or we are not available, you may have to leave a message on our answering machine. We usually return calls on the same day.

If you wish to start online therapy, you will also be required to complete a short test, which will help us to decide whether online CBT therapy is appropriate for you. If you were a suitable client, you only have to contact us to schedule an appointment. An appointment will be made as soon as possible, generally within the same week.

Appointments can be scheduled from 10.00 a.m until 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m (UK time). We don't work at weekends.

When do I pay for my sessions?

Payment is required before you commence your session if you receive online therapy. Only bank transfers are accepted after we provide you with the account details. You will pay just right after each session when you attend the consultation face-to-face.

How long can I expect to be in therapy?

The length of treatment is dependent on the type of problem you have and its severity. It's likely CBT therapy to entail 6-16 sessions. A chronic or long-term condition may require more time. After an initial assessment of your presenting problem, we'll be able to estimate how many sessions you may need.

How much do the sessions cost?

Each session of CBT costs £80 for a 50-minute session with John and £100, for Sylvia. The same fee applies to each session, including the initial or assessment consultation. Bear in mind that Sylvia has currently cut down her working hours and you're likely to be placed on a waiting list.

How do I know if I need therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may be appropriate if you are feeling anxious, depressed, or unfulfilled in any sense, and nothing seems to help. You may have tried to cope with your problems on your own but without success.

CBT therapy (face-to-face or online) can help you develop the necessary coping skills and provide you with a set of new strategies you can apply to make your problem manageable. When issues or feelings interfere with life, career, or relationships, it's advisable to seek help in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy delivered by qualified and highly experienced CBT psychotherapists.

What would my commitment be?

CBT Therapy requires a significant commitment in terms of both time and money. The sessions last for 50 minutes once a week, although some clients prefer more than one session a week and sometimes, one session every two weeks.

You're also expected to do some tasks or between sessions activities that serve to practice the new skills and abilities outside of the therapeutic setting. We both agree upon these tasks to achieve the goal of transferring what you have gained during the sessions to where the problem occurs. Research demonstrates that clients who carry out homework assignments get better faster and stay better longer. Your homework might include keeping track of your moods, thoughts, and behaviours, scheduling activities, challenging your negative thoughts, changing the way you communicate with others, or whatever is deemed necessary for your specific problem.

How do approaches in therapy vary?

Different therapists work from differing theoretical approaches. The three main approaches are psychodynamic, person-centred, and Cognitive Behavioural. Some of them address, on some level, how childhood issues, learning about emotions, power, and intimacy influence current functioning. A few focus more on solving problems here, and now, and some other places more emphasis on unhealthy behaviours, dysfunctional ways of thinking, and emotions. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy examines these three components: emotions, behaviours, and thinking patterns, as well as the interaction there might be with each other related to the current problems you may be experiencing. Anapsys Counselling Services only Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (not psychodynamic or person-centred approaches) because we want to apply only evidenced-based interventions, and that means that the efficacy of such techniques has been scientifically proven.

All CBT treatments, when applied by an experienced and well qualified CBT therapist, have a good chance of improving people's difficulties and helping them achieve specific changes or goals. Our CBT interventions are firmly based on scientific research. They are effective, often in a brief period of time, and usually focus on current situations rather than past ones.

CBT, in whatever modality, is used to help people change self-defeating or unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviours to more adaptive ones. Some of the issues where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatments have been successful include helping someone to feel less depressed or anxious, to worry less, to cope better with obsessions, to be more assertive and confident, and to get over a relationship break-up.

What happens in a CBT therapy session (face-to-face or online)?

Just as you would do attending cognitive behavioural therapy face-to-face, when you begin Cognitive Behavioural Therapy online, an intake evaluation will be conducted, and this may require one or two sessions. This assessment will help your therapist understand the problems which may need to be addressed.

Assessment tools (e.g., tests or questionnaires) and homework tasks will have to be completed. If you are receiving online therapy, these home tasks are typically completed with a word processor and emailed back to your psychotherapist for revision the following week. Based on a deeper understanding of the nature and degree of the problem, the counselling and CBT therapy sessions will review the problems and issues that may be troublesome for you. Specifically, we will want to learn about the thoughts and assumptions you may have, which maladaptive behaviours you engage in, and the impact that those dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behaviours have on your current emotional state. Unlike other forms of therapy, which are unstructured, in CBT, you and your psychotherapist will set an agenda and goals for each session.

What if I need medication?

If you are on medication, you may wish to continue to have the dosage monitored by your doctor, if you consider it's helping you. However, if we observe that your current medication is not working, you can ask us to write a letter recommending a more suitable type of antidepressant for you. We're quite knowledgeable about medication for anxiety and depression.

Do you provide therapy for children?

Unfortunately, Anapsys Counselling Services does not offer therapy to children or adolescents. All our clients must be over the age of 18.

How is the personal information I provide protected?

Any information held by us is protected by the Data Protection Act, and any documents or information you provide us will be kept in a locked filing cabinet. Your name will never appear in any papers assigned to your case. Anapsys Counselling Services attempts to make both face-to-face and online therapy as secure as possible. For example, we use VSee video conferencing software or sending emails through a secure server. However, Anapsys accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to your computer system, software or data occurring in connection with your own use of insecure email to communicate with us. When you make an appointment with us, you are already accepting our terms and conditions and privacy policy.

How long are the sessions?

Each session will last 50 minutes.

How effective will the therapy be?

CBT is very effective for a wide range of issues (in person or online), ranging from 50% to over 75% of the cases. The evidence we have about the effectiveness of online CBT therapy via videoconferencing is believed to be just the same as face-to-face sessions. Access the blog we wrote about the effectiveness of CBT using internet-based therapy.

Do you offer marriage or couples counselling?

No, we are sorry we don't offer couples counselling. However, we do work with clients having relationship problems due to individual issues impacting negatively on the other partner.

Individual therapy usually is effective when there are dilemmas about either staying or leaving a relationship, trying to let go or move on after a relationship break-up, not having enough confidence to meet or develop relationships with the opposite sex, e.g., due to assertiveness problems or deficient dating skills, loneliness, difficulty in maintaining and developing intimate relationships, problems tolerating a partner's flaws, unhealthy infatuation, fear of commitment, jealousy problems, guilt about having an abortion, affairs, anger management, gay issues, communication difficulties leading to arguments and conflicts, intimacy or sexual problems, loss of interest in the partner, family problems and disagreements or thoughts of divorce. These issues can be resolved successfully individually. If we consider that you need to go for couples therapy, we'll recommend it.

What if I have to cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel your appointment, you have to send us an email or give us a ring on +44 (0)2890 58 63 61. Please remember that you need to provide us with at least 24 hours' notice. Otherwise, the full fee will be charged (£65 for sessions with John, or £90 for sessions with Sylvia). Please read our terms and conditions regarding this policy.

How do I change my appointment?

Please, email or phone us as soon as possible, and we'll offer you an alternative appointment. If you can provide us 24 hours notice before your scheduled appointment, no fee will be chargeable for the session. Cancelled sessions after this time will be charged at the full rate.

How do I pay for the sessions?

Sessions can only be paid by cash or cheque if you attend therapy face-to-face. If you receive online counselling, payment will be made by bank transfer (if you are in the UK) or by Paypal, only when you live outside the UK. We do not have the facilities to offer credit or debit card payments.

Do I pay as I go?

Yes, you only need to pay for each session that you attend. We do not offer discounts for a set of sessions as other counselling services do because that forces the person to use the paid consultations, and we do not want to make anybody feel under pressure.

We believe clients should always have the freedom to cancel if they change their minds at any point in the therapy and never to lose money in the process. You may experience a financial loss when you pay in bulk.

Do I need to be computer savvy? (applicable only to those attending online therapy)

You'll need to know some basic skills of how to access the Internet, open and read emails, create word documents, download attachments, install programmes and know how to use the webcam as well as using videoconferencing software such as Skype or VSee.

For those who have a poor broadband connection or use a mobile device to attend therapy, we encourage they download for free a different programme called "VSee," which works better than Skype when the Internet connection is not very reliable.

What computer equipment do I need? (applicable only for online sessions)

You will, of course, need a computer, a webcam and an Internet connection. Your connection would need to be reasonably fast and reliable. Otherwise, the quality of the online session may suffer.

If your connection is not very good, you are encouraged to download VSee and create a free account before starting online therapy.

Is online therapy suitable for me?

While most people would find online therapy to be very convenient and easy to use, unfortunately, it's not right for everyone. To make sure you are a suitable client for CBT therapy online, complete a 2-minute suitability test, and you will know right away if we can help you.

What does it mean that my Psychotherapist is "BABCP accredited"?

In the UK, someone accredited by the British Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP) is someone who has a professional qualification as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. John and Sylvia are both BABCP Accredited CBT Therapists.

Being accredited by the BABCP means that the person has provided a great deal of evidence about their training and experience to demonstrate a high level of competence using cognitive behavioural methods to the BABCP. All CBT therapists are supervised at least one and a half hours per month.

The process of accreditation is reviewed every year, whereby the therapist needs to present new evidence that their professional practice is up-to-date.

What if I feel suicidal? (applicable only to online therapy)

We deal with suicidal clients on a daily basis in our practice when clients see us face-to-face. However, online therapy has limitations, and if that were the case, online CBT therapy is not the best option for you, and you should seek a local therapist to attend to your specific needs.

If you have strong feelings of suicide, we would strongly recommend that you contact the Samaritans (24/7) on 08457 90 90 90 or Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 (free support 24/7) if you live in the UK. For the USA, call 1-8oo-SUICIDE or look in your phone book for a mental health hotline.

Can I have face-to-face therapy with another mental health professional while receiving online CBT?

No. That's not advisable. You should only have one therapist at a time. Before making an appointment with us, we'll assume you're not receiving treatment for the issue you need help with any other mental health professional. However, at times, two different therapists may work in conjunction with each other. For example, if we are treating you for post-traumatic stress disorder and the other therapist is treating you for addiction issues resulting from the trauma. In case of doubt, please contact us.

Is therapy confidential?

All personal information is treated in the strictest confidence and remains confidential to us. This is crucial for you to feel able to trust our services, knowing that it's safe to talk openly about what's happening.

This strict confidentiality rule would only be broken, in most cases with the client's consent, should exceptional circumstances arise, which give us reasonable grounds for believing that serious harm may be caused to the client or others or when the client confesses to having committed a crime punishable by law. This policy is in accordance with the code of ethics of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.