Talking Cures

Talking therapies can help all sorts of people in lots of different situations. You may also hear them referred to as counselling, talking treatments or psychological therapies.Talking therapy is for anyone who’s going through a bad time or has emotional problems they need help with.For many adults it may be the same or more effective than medicine.Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than to relatives or friends.During talking therapy, a trained counsellor or therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you.The therapist will give you time to talk, cry, shout or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems in a different way with someone who’ll respect you and your opinions.Usually, you’ll talk one-to-one with the therapist. Sometimes talking treatments are held in groups or couples, such as relationship counselling.Although there are lots of different types of talking therapy, they all have a similar aim: to help you feel better.Some people say that talking therapies do not make their problems go away, but they find it easier to cope with them and feel happier.Talking therapies can be helpful for lots of things, including: depression anxiety an eating disorder a phobia an addictionThey’re often used if you have been diagnosed with a serious mental health condition, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Talking therapies are commonly used alongside medicines.The aim of CBT is to help you explore and change how you think about your life, and free yourself from unhelpful patterns of behaviour.You set goals with your therapist and may carry out tasks between sessions.A course usually involves around 12 to 20 sessions.Guided self-help is recommended as a treatment for depression, anxiety and panic disorder.With guided self-help you work through a CBT-based workbook or computer course with the support of a therapist.The therapist works with you to understand your problems and make positive changes in your life.Guided self-help aims to give you helpful tools and techniques that you can carry on using after the course has finished.During the course your therapist will support you with face-to-face appointments or phone calls.Counselling is a talking therapy where you talk in confidence to a counsellor. They help you find ways to deal with difficulties in your life.You may be offered counselling on the NHS if, for example, you: are struggling to cope with a long-term condition have chronic pain have an addiction are having fertility problemsCounselling on the NHS usually consists of 6 to 12 sessions.Read more about counselling.Counselling for depressionCounselling for depression has been specially developed to help people understand the underlying causes of their depression.Counselling for depression is available through psychological therapies services.It may be offered one-to-one or in a group with regular meetings or phone calls with a therapist.The aim is to give you the motivation to make small, positive changes in your life.You’ll also learn problem-solving skills to help you tackle problems that are affecting your mood.You’ll usually be offered about 16 to 20 sessions.Interpersonal therapy (IPT)IPT is a talking treatment that helps people with depression identify and address problems in their relationships with family, partners and friends.The idea is that poor relationships with people in your life can leave you feeling depressed.Depression can in turn make your relationships with other people worse.You may be offered IPT if you have severe depression or depression that hasn’t responded to other talking therapies, such as CBT.IPT is usually offered over 16 to 20 sessions.Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)EMDR is another talking therapy that’s been developed to help people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).People who have PTSD may experience intrusive thoughts, memories, nightmares or flashbacks of traumatic events in their past.EMDR helps the brain reprocess memories of the traumatic event so you can let go of them.EMDR can be a distressing process, so it’s important to have a good support network of family and friends around you if you plan to try it.Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)Mindfulness-based therapies help you focus on your thoughts and feelings as they happen moment by moment.They can be used to help treat depression and addiction.Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines mindfulness techniques like meditation and breathing exercises with cognitive therapy.MBCT is one of the options that may be offered to you after a course of treatment for depression to help stop it coming back.

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