The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service provides a range of effective therapies that are recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for use in the NHS. Different therapies are recommended for different problems, and our therapists can explain and help to guide you in choosing these.
The name just means, “Thinking and doing therapy”. CBT can be a very practical treatment, as the aim is for you to learn the skills and strategies that have been proven to improve symptoms. By learning what the research has shown about your symptoms, you understand them better, and can become, “Your own therapist”. CBT addresses the “Whole person” by looking at your physical symptoms, the thoughts you have, your coping behaviours, and your emotional feelings. CBT has been proven to be very effective for problems involving anxiety, low mood (depression) and persistent physical symptoms. The average number of sessions people require varies depending on the problem, but it ranges from 8 up to 20 (or more). There is no “set” number of sessions that people are allowed, as everyone is different. Some sessions last about an hour in your GP Practice or health centre, and some may be longer, as your therapist may accompany you to try out “Experiments” in appropriate locations (or in your home).
“IPT” for short, has been shown to be very effective for depression. This can be quite a practical treatment, which focuses on changes you can make to improve your social contact/network, and your relationships with other people. Changes in our lives (such as illness, job loss/change, or bereavement) can affect the type or amount of contact we have with other people. IPT can help you to manage and improve this. You would choose a particular area to focus, on such as loss or bereavement, difficulty adjusting to a life change that has affected your role, feeling isolated, difficulties in relationships with others, or a dispute/conflict. The number of sessions in IPT for depression typically ranges from 8-16. Each session with a therapist lasts about an hour.
When physical symptoms persist, due to a chronic condition, or sometimes in the absence of a medical diagnosis, it can be very distressing. Our wellbeing specialists help you look at all aspects of how you live with physical symptoms, and use the scientific evidence to help you plan a personalized symptom management programme. The focus is on improving the quality of your life, but often this can lead to an improvement in the physical symptoms themselves. Treatment programmes for persistent physical symptoms can be short-term, or longer-term, depending on the person’s needs.
When we face problems in our lives such as physical illness or loss, counselling can help you talk through the feelings you have about yourself, or the situation, and find a way to tackle them that improves your wellbeing. Adjusting to life events or loss can lead to low mood (depression), and a talking therapy like counselling can help improve this. Counselling is offered for milder problems with mood, rather than more severe depression, as it consists of between 6-10 sessions.
Couples Therapy is recommended by the NICE guidelines as a treatment for mild-moderate depression (low mood) which is either causing relationship problems OR where relationship problems are resulting in depression. The therapy is suitable for heterosexual, lesbian and gay couples, couples who are married, in civil partnerships or a long-term committed relationship.
It is not suitable for people who are actively divorcing.The therapy consists of up to 20 treatment sessions with a therapist meeting on a weekly basis for one hour. The aim is to help couples to improve their relationship and mental wellbeing by learning ways to manage stress, solve problems, manage unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours and improve their communication. It aims to promote acceptance rather than blame within the couple, and to develop understanding and knowledge about depression.
We aim to offer effective treatment in packages that are designed to fit into your life easily and conveniently. If regularly travelling to attend every therapy appointment is difficult, some of your treatment can be provided over regular telephone appointments with a wellbeing practitioner, which can be supported with written self-help materials. The first few appointments will usually be face-to-face to help you and your Wellbeing Practitioner get to know each other before you move on to telephone sessions. For some people this can be an effective first step before they move on to longer appointments targeting more difficult aspects of their problem, for others this first step is sufficient.
You can speak to a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, who can provide you with a range of written self-help resources and advice about your problem, or who can recommend books or websites for you. Many people find that talking to someone who understands their problem in one appointment, and having the right information and advice, is all they need to tackle and overcome their problem. You can also access a range of self-help resources through this website.
For many people, financial, relationship, employment or other situations are the main cause of their feelings, and they need practical advice on what to do in order to move on. A Psychological Wellbeing Advisor can recommend specific services or organisation that offer help for a range of difficult life situations, e.g. –