Frequently asked questions

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR):

What is EMDR?

EMDR is best known for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it can also help with a range of mental health conditions in people of all ages.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a therapy used to help people recover from distressing events and the problems they have caused, like flashbacks, upsetting thoughts or images, depression or anxiety.

EMDR is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

How effective is EMDR?

When a person’s mental health problems have their roots in a distressing life event, EMDR can be very effective very quickly. Studies have shown that EMDR can significantly decrease PTSD symptoms in just two or three sessions, and that the effect is long lasting. People who have experienced several traumatic events, neglect or poor treatment as children usually need more sessions than this however.

Who can EMDR help?

EMDR is best known for its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is widely used by the NHS, charitable organisations and private sector, and the Ministry of Defence use EMDR to help service personnel with PTSD.

However EMDR can also be used to help treat a variety of mental health problems like depression or anxiety, especially where a difficult life event has been involved. EMDR can be useful for people who have witnessed or experienced an event like a car accident, a violent crime, sexual or emotional abuse, bullying, a social humiliation or the sudden loss of a loved one, and are struggling to recover.

What is the difference between PTSD and Complex PTSD?

The main difference is that PTSD is generally related to a single event or series of events within a short space of time, while Complex PTSD is related to a series of events that occur repeatedly over an extended period of time.

Can EMDR also be used to treat complex PTSD?

Yes it can work well for individuals with complex PTSD, however the process is longer and depends on many factors, i.e previous therapy, level of resilience, symptoms of dissociation etc.

Please note other alternative approaches that heal mind, brain and body may be used if EMDR is unsuitable.

(A full assessment is always required).

Please watch the video below for more information.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT):

What Is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a type of psychotherapy that involves a combination of cognitive therapy, meditation, and the cultivation of a present-oriented, non-judgmental attitude called “mindfulness.”​

MBCT was developed by therapists Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, who sought to build upon cognitive therapy. They felt that by integrating cognitive therapy with a program developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), therapy could be more effective

A primary assumption of cognitive therapy is that thoughts precede moods and that false self-beliefs lead to negative emotions such as depression. The goal of cognitive therapy is to help you recognise and reassess your patterns of negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts that more closely reflect reality.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy builds upon the principles of cognitive therapy by using techniques such as mindfulness meditation to teach people to consciously pay attention to their thoughts and feelings without placing any judgments upon them or trying to change them.

This approach helps people review their thoughts without getting caught up in what could have been or might occur in the future. MBCT encourages clarity of thought and provides you the tools needed to more easily let go of negative thoughts instead of letting them feed your depression.

Much like with cognitive therapy, MBCT operates on the theory that if you have a history of depression and become distressed, you are likely to return to those automatic cognitive processes that triggered a depressive episode in the past.

The combination of mindfulness and cognitive therapy is what makes MBCT so effective. Mindfulness helps you observe and identify your feelings while cognitive therapy teaches you to interrupt automatic thought processes and work through feelings in a healthy way.

MBCT for Depression

The goal of MBCT is to help clients with chronic depression learn how to avoid relapses by not engaging in those automatic thought patterns that perpetuate and worsen depression. In fact, a study published in The Lancet found that MBCT helped prevent depression recurrence as effectively as maintenance antidepressant medication did.

On average, MBCT was shown to reduce the risk of relapse for people who experience recurrent depression by nearly 50%, regardless of their sex, age, education, or relationship status.

Research also has shown that MBCT can reduce the severity of depressive symptoms as well as help reduce cravings for addictive substances.

What to expect

The MBCT program is a group intervention or can be offered one to one. The programme consists of 8 weekly 90 min – 2 hour sessions which include sitting meditations and enquiry as well as working through structured Cognitive Behavioural Therapy exercises and mindful movement.

Regular practice at home is encouraged and there is an expectation that participants commit to it for 6 out of 7 days. The programme promotes cultivating the practice of meditation in which people can learn to pay attention to their moment-to-moment events as they unfold in their internal and external world. By ‘waking up’ to all of our experiences, we gain insight into habitual reactions to such events, often characterised by aversion or attachment, commonly resulting in over thinking and distress. MBCT places an emphasis on learning to tap into our natural inner stability and resourcefulness, so we can manage life’s challenges more easily, be open to new opportunities and appreciate positive life experiences that are already part of our lives.

Though a lot of the hard work of MBCT is self-directed, advocates stress that the classes themselves are important to the efficacy of the program.


What happens in the assessment?

An assessment provides an opportunity for you to meet with the counsellor and for you to decide whether counselling is right for you and appropriate for your needs. If you feel that you would like to continue with the counselling you and the counsellor will discuss the nature of your future work together. You will also come to a mutual agreement on the time and the day for your sessions and the counsellor will book that time and space for you.

Will my sessions be confidential?

Yes all information is held in the strictest of confidence unless you disclose that you or anyone else is at risk of harm. In this instance we may have to break confidentiality if it is for your safety or others or if it is required by law.

We are also registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in line with the GDPR guidelines on protecting and the release of personal data.

How many sessions will I need?

This will depend on your presenting issues. Deeper rooted issues may require a longer term approach, however if their is a specific issue that you wish to work through this may require a few weekly sessions.

Please note that it is advisable to take some time to consider your ability to commit to your sessions before starting any type of therapeutic work.

How long are the sessions?

Assessments generally take up to 60 mins. Counselling sessions are 50 mins. EMDR sessions are 60 mins. MBCT sessions held on a one to one basis are 60 mins. MBCT group sessions are 90 min-2 hours (due to being in a group of 6).

Is there a charge for missed sessions?

Yes missed sessions are still payable. However, if 1 weeks notice is given, we will do our best to make up a missed session (subject to availability).

Do you offer lower cost therapy?

We can offer concessions to emergency NHS workers, police, fire service personnel, those on a low income that require longer term support and counselling students. (Subject to availability).

We will also be accommodating second and third year counselling students from May 2024 who will be offering low cost counselling. Please contact us in April 2024 for further details.

Do you work with insurance companies?

Get in touch

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how counselling works, or to book an initial consultation. This enables us to discuss the reasons you are thinking of coming to counselling, whether it could be helpful for you and whether we are the right therapists to help.

You can also call us on 07949822154 if you would prefer to leave a message or speak to us first.

All enquires are usually answered within 24 hours, and all contact is strictly confidential and uses secure phone and email services.

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