Frequently Asked Questions
You may click on the questions below or scroll down for full questions and answers.
How can I prepare for my first session?
Before your first session it is helpful to think about how you would like your life to be different, what your goals are and what you would like to get from sessions.
How will therapy be delivered?
At present I deliver one-to-one therapy within face to face sessions. But keep checking the site for updates surrounding therapy delivery.
Can I bring someone with me?
It is understandable that coming to therapy can be difficult, especially for the first time. You may bring someone with you just for the first session. However, it is important that the therapy is focused entirely on you, what you think and feel, and what you want to get out of session. So it is important that you attend treatment on your own.
How long does a session last?
A CBT session usually lasts between 50 minutes to an hour.
Can I provide feedback about my sessions?
Yes, feedback is very helpful and important. Feedback helps to ensure that you are getting what you want out of sessions, and that sessions are delivered in a way that suits your individual needs. Feedback also helps therapists to learn and develop.
Will there be any work to do out of sessions?
Sometimes there are things to do between sessions, this helps you to maximise the benefits of therapy. Tasks outside of session are collaboratively agreed.
I have been having thoughts about harming myself
If you are having thoughts about harming yourself or someone else, then book an emergency appointment to see your general practitioner. Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC 111) is available out of GP hours. If you feel that you cannot maintain yours or someone else’s immediate safety, then you can use the emergency services or present yourself to your local A&E department.
If you feel that the crisis is less urgent, but you do need support then they are mental health helplines you can use such as Samaritans 116 123. A more exhaustive list of helplines can be attained from:
Do I need a referral from my doctor to access therapy?
You do not need a referral letter from your GP, you can contact me directly by phone, my contact page and e-mail.
Where will I be seen?
I currently deliver therapy in central Kendal and Ulverston Business Centre. Insight CBT works hard to encourage access for those with special requirements. Consequently, therapy can be delivered in alternative locations for those with disability access requirements.
Will I have to talk about my past?
CBT mainly focuses on your experiences and symptoms in the here and now. However sometimes past events can inform difficulties in the here and now so it can be useful to consider how the past impacts the present.
You are in control of what you talk about in session, it is okay to say no if you are ever asked a question what you do not want to answer.
But I am not sure what the problem is and what my goals are.
A key part of therapy is helping you to understand the problem, goals can be considered as you start to learn about yourself and how you want things to be different.
Can you provide me with a diagnosis and a full psychological assessment?
Unfortunately, I am unable to do this. As a psychotherapist, I am trained to treat specific difficulties, to alleviate distress and help you learn strategies to enhance the quality of your life. A psychiatrist, or another trained medical professional would be needed to provide a diagnosis and psychological assessment.
What if CBT is not right for me, or if the therapist I am working with is not right for me?
Everyone has individual needs and it is understandable that what fits one person may not be suitable for another. So it is absolutely fine to talk to your therapist about this, together you and your therapist can think of ways to overcome this. Your therapist can also talk to you about referrals to other therapists/ services/ treatment types.
How often do I need sessions?
Weekly sessions can be helpful at the beginning of therapy. This helps to develop the therapeutic relationship and also helps to maximise therapeutic gains. Later in therapy, some find it helpful to attend fortnightly session as this allows time for you to practice new skills between sessions. Often people find it helpful to move to monthly sessions before discharge. Booster session can be arranged following therapy
Can I make notes during session?
Yes, this can be very helpful. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all that has been discussed in a session. So taking notes can help you to reflect back following the session and build upon your learning. Some clients like to take photos of therapy diagrams using their smart phones.
How many sessions will I need?
Therapy is individually tailored, so the amount of sessions varies from person to person. Number of sessions can depend upon, your individual learning needs, what you would like help with, your therapy goals and how long you have experienced the difficulties. For some 6-15 sessions may be adequate or if you have experienced these difficulties for many years then a longer course of therapy may be required (12 -25 sessions).
Does what I say stay private?
What you say in the therapy sessions remains private. The exception to this is when concerns arise surrounding risk to yourself or someone else. If concerns do arise it is important that you feel able to discuss this openly with your therapist. In the first instance you will be encouraged to seek further support for yourself, this may involve you making an emergency appointment with your doctor.
How will the session be structured?
Initial sessions focus upon assessment, which involves getting to know you and understanding your experiences. As sessions move on, the usual structure involves a brief check in of the week and discussion of any problems, the remaining time focuses upon strategies to help you attain your therapeutic goals. Final sessions usually focus upon putting everything together that you have learned in a maintaining progress plan.
The structure of the sessions is very much dependent upon you, some clients prefer informal structure whereas others prefer a more formal structure.