FAQs

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Better Than OK

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Milton Keynes

 

How do I decide whether I need CBT or Counselling?

 

The type of therapy you need depends on the difficuties you encounter and what you want to achieve. We offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has been proven to help people overcome Depression and Anxiety Disorders (Panic Attacks, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, OCD, PTSD and people who are anxious about their health).

 

CBT has a large evidence base in helping people overcome all of these conditions. CBT begins by looking at how our thoughts and actions affect how we feel. By understanding what keeps the problem going day after day, you can then choose where to break the vicious cycle. CBT will teach you techniques and encourage you to try out new ways of responding to the problems in your life.

 

Counselling may be better suited to people who have recently been bereaved or are having relationship issues. Counselling helps people to understand in order to try and make sense of their feelings. Counselling is usually an unstructured, reflective process.

 

For further information on how CBT works click the following link

 

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/How-does-it-work.aspx

 

 

For further information on counselling works click the following link

 

http://www.bacp.co.uk/

 

 

What kinds of problems can you help with?

 

CBT works well to help people who feel bad about themselves, have low self-esteem or low confidence. CBT also has had strong results helping people who feel down and depressed, lack motivation and have difficulty sleeping. We have helped people who find it difficult giving speeches or speaking in front of colleagues and friends. Many of our clients do not have any diagnosis but do not feel happy or confident. People often come to us not just to stop feeling bad but instead to actively seek to make their lives better than ok.

 

Many people have found it helpful to meet with us for a consultation to see if CBT can help them achieve their career and personal goals. We have helped people feel confident about their work, reconnect with friends, feel good about their appearance, exercise more, worry less, speak in front of groups and sleep better.

 

In summary, we can treat Depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Low Self-Esteem, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Health Anxiety, ADHD and individuals with chonic pain.

 

 

How do I know if my therapist is any good?

 

It can be very confusing trying to find the right therapist. There are so many different types of therapy but not all of them have been shown to have long-lasting effects. It is our opinion that a good therapist should implement evidence-based practice. This means that during the sessions your therapist only offers you what the research suggests will help you. At Better Than OK we implement the National Insitute of Clinical Excellence's (NICE) recommendations which have been written to inform clinicians on how to help their clients in the most effective way. There are guidelines for each disorder; Depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, OCD and Panic Disorder. NICE guidance could also help you to decide if your therapist is well informed and providing a treatment which has been shown to help.

 

To ensure you receive the highest standard of care, we would recommend you look for a therapist who is accredited by the BABCP or BACP to ensure they have the right training, qualifications and ongoing clinical supervision. You could also ask for recommendations from friends or ask your GP if they could recommend anyone.

 

On a personal level, we believe that one of the best ways to start therapy is to come and meet one of us and see if we could build a trusting and therapeutic relationship.

 

 

What are your qualifications?

 

Russell Barnbrook

 

Russell has an MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy. Russell has an advanced diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and a diploma in Psychotherapeutics. Russ is accredited by the BABCP and is also trained to deliver Mindfulness Based CBT (MBCT) and extensive use of imagery. Russell also works in a central London CBT service.

 

Marion Barnbrook

 

After attaining a First Class BSc (hons) in Psychology from the University of Liverpool, Marion has worked in a flagship NHS service for 5 years delivering CBT-based therapy to adults with a wide variety of psychological difficulties. Marion has studied at the Anna Freud Centre in London, achieving a Diploma in Innovative Approaches in Group CBT. Marion has been awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy from Royal Holloway University, London, accredited by the BABCP.

 

How do you diagnose people?

 

Psychologist often use two major diagnostic manuals, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health (DSM) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) from the states and Europe, respectively. If you would like to know more you can browse here:

 

For DSM-V http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org//book.aspx?bookid=556

 

For ICD-10 http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2010/en

 

 

What will happen when I come and see you?

 

The first thing we will do is book you in for an initial consultation. This is a one-off appointment. The aim is to get a better understanding of what you would like to change. We will also decide together whether CBT is the right approach for you. After this, we will make a plan of how your treatment will progress. We will give you an indication of how many sessions you may need in order to start feeling better than ok.

 

 

How often and how long are the sessions?

 

Sessions are varied in length and usually occur weekly. This is because most of the clinical trials of CBT have shown that weekly sessions appear the most helpful. There are times when it is reasonable to space out sessions a little more but in most cases weekly works well.

 

Session length often depends on the issues being addressed. For example, a person with a fear of public places may benefit from being out in public spaces with their therapist for extended periods of time. A person suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) would typically have longer sessions in order to work through the trauma without being interrupted. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published recommendations based on evidence-based practice to clinicians about how to treat depressive and anxiety disorders. To find out more about what the research says follow these links:

 

For Depression

http://publications.nice.org.uk/depression-in-adults-cg90.

 

For Anxiety

http://publications.nice.org.uk/generalised-anxiety-disorder-and-panic-disorder-with-or-without-agoraphobia-in-adults-cg113

 

In other cases the length of sessions is just personal preference.

 

 

What is mindfulness?

 

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a treatment programme that was devised after extensive research in Cambridge and Harvard Universities to prevent the relapse of long-term Depression. It was subsequently found that this approach could also help other people cope with day to day worries.

 

We offer a nine week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course and we would encourage you to contact us to discuss this further. To read more about MBCT try here http://mbct.co.uk/

 

 

How long will therapy take and how many sessions are enough?

 

In CBT we aim to help you feel better in the fewest number of sessions possible. The process aims to help you become your own therapist. Therefore the emphasis is on teaching you the CBT techniques so you can use them independently in your day-to-day life. This means you do not need to rely on professional help in the long-term.

 

It's hard to say exactly how many sessions you will need because everyone works at a slightly different pace. The number of sessions you need depends on what you want to get out of therapy.

 

 

Is therapy confidential?

 

It's very important that therapy conversations are kept confidential. Therapists can be privy to the most personal information and it is a position we take very seriously.

 

 

When is the right time to start therapy?

 

There is rarely a wrong time. There are times in life when it is easier than others. To answer this we should consider process of therapy. In most cases we look at how able a person is to make a change to their life. Sometimes a person may feel in crisis, with huge life events dominating their every waking moment. Therapy can sometimes be harder in these conditions as making changes might seem overwhelming as they try to deal with so many other external issues. That said, if a person is looking for help in how they react to the issues their life it may be the best time to try. It is often best to have an initial assessment with a therapist to identify what is going on and how treatment might help. Following this an informed decision can be made.

 

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