Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on the questions to reveal the answers
What is IAPT?
Mindsmatter is an IAPT Service. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme was developed as a systematic way to organise and improve the delivery of, and access to, evidence-based psychological therapies within the IAPT services provide evidence-based treatments for people with depression and anxiety disorders, and comorbid long-term physical health conditions (ltcs) or medically unexplained symptoms (mus).
IAPT Services are characterised by three key principles:
1.Evidence-based psychological therapies at the appropriate dose: where nice-recommended therapies are matched to the mental health problem, and the intensity and duration of delivery is designed to optimise outcomes.
2. Appropriately trained and supervised workforce: where high-quality care is provided by clinicians who are trained to an agreed level of competence and accredited in the specific therapies they deliver, and who receive weekly outcomes-focused supervision by senior clinical practitioners with the relevant competences who can support them to continuously improve.
3.Routine outcome monitoring on a session-by-session basis, so that the person having therapy and the clinician offering it have up-to-date information on the person’s progress. This helps guide the course of each person’s treatment and provides a resource for service improvement, transparency and public accountability.
4. Services are delivered using a stepped-care model, which works according to the principle that people should be offered the least intrusive intervention appropriate for their needs first. Many people with mild to moderate depression or anxiety disorders are likely to benefit from a course of low-intensity treatment delivered by a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP). Individuals who do not fully recover at this level should be stepped up to a course of high-intensity treatment. NICE guidance recommends that people with more severe depression and those with social anxiety disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) should receive high-intensity interventions first.
Who can Mindsmatter help?
Mindsmatter provide support for adults (aged 16 and over with no upper age limit) with depression and anxiety disorders that can be managed effectively by brief therapy. NICE-recommended therapies are delivered by a single competent clinician, with or without concurrent pharmacological treatment which is typically managed by the GP.
What conditions do Mindsmatter treat?
Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems affecting individuals (approximately 16% of the population at any one time), and society. It is recognised that many people experience more than one of these conditions.
We provide treatment for people with the following common mental health problems
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (ocd)
- Specific phobias (such as heights or small animals)
- Health anxiety (hypochondriasis)
- Body dysmorphic disorder
What is CBT?
CBT stands for ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ and is an effective psychological treatment for both anxiety disorders and depression (amongst other conditions). It is a practical and approach that provides coping strategies. CBT helps people to see how their thoughts affect how they feel and how they behave.
What is Counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.
What is a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP)?
PWPs are trained to assess and support people with common mental health problems – in the self-management of their recovery. PWPs provide short-term, evidence-based treatments which are of low-intensity cognitive behavioural-based interventions, principally for people experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. PWPs work with people to equip them with the tools and techniques they need to manage anxiety and depression effectively and work towards their goals via groups & workshops, online programmes and one to one ‘face to face’ treatments. The aim is to help people make positive changes to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.
How much do the groups and sessions cost?
The groups and sessions are free of charge. IAPT is a national programme funded by the NHS and offers assessment and therapy without charge.
Where will I be seen?
The location of your sessions with Mindsmatter will vary across localities. Some sessions are offered in GP surgeries others in health centres or other suitable public and community buildings.
Many people opt for telephone or online therapy so that the sessions have less impact on child care or work commitments. Our courses and groups can take place in other health buildings, libraries and community centres.
Can I choose the gender of my therapist?
Yes, we will be happy to provide a therapist of your chosen gender. We will also attempt to accommodate race, cultural, language specific requests where we are able.
What doesn’t Mindsmatter do?
Mindsmatter empowers people to improve their own wellbeing, but if what we offer is not right for you we will do our best to signpost you to the service that is.
Mindsmatter is not a crisis service. If you are at risk of self-harm or know someone who is, please see your GP urgently or out-of hours GP service. Alternatively you can call 111, the Samaritans help line on 116123, or the Lancashire Wellbeing and Mental Health helpline (Mon - Fri 7pm-11pm, Sat/Sun 12pm – 12am) 0800 915 4640.
Mindsmatter do not diagnose mental health conditions or provide mental health assessments / reports for employers or for ATOS assessments / welfare service.
Mindsmatter do not provide care-coordination for people suffering from severe and enduring mental problems.
We do not prescribe medication
Are there any situations or problems that you don’t treat?
Yes, our service is for people with common psychological or emotional problems where brief therapy is likely to help. There are situations where another service would be more suitable such as:
Patients who are dangerously self-harming, actively suicidal or a danger to others
People entirely unable to cope with everyday life, or in need of complex care
Severe personality disorders
Drug or alcohol dependency
Patients who are receiving mental health treatment elsewhere.
If you have received treatment from the alcohol service, and are in and maintaining recovery (alcohol-free or drinking within the guidelines for safe alcohol use) and are experiencing difficulties not related to alcohol, we offer an initial consultation for you to discuss these with one of our therapists, and explore whether therapy would be helpful.
Mindsmatter is not an emergency service and we are unable to offer urgent assessments or treatment. If you need to speak to someone as a matter of urgency we strongly suggest you discuss your needs with your GP.
How can I access the service and what can I expect?
Mindsmatter strive to contact people within 2 weeks after the referral date. The first point of contact will be an invitation to an ‘early bird session’ which is an opportunity to learn about our service and to choose an appropriate treatment, or alternatively you may receive a ‘welcome call’ from a member of the team to discuss your needs further. There are many ways to refer to the service:
- Self referral via website / telephone referral, contact details for local teams are on the homepage
- By post, please contact your local team for a referral pack
- Gp referral / health visitor referral or any other health professional
If the referral is made by a GP or health professional please be aware that we use telephone numbers given by them, if we are unable to get through we may leave a message. If you do not want to receive a message please let the referrer know.
Why is brief psychological therapy so popular?
It is now widely recognised that psychological and emotional problems are common. Even feelings of hopelessness and despair, and feeling unable to cope occur more frequently than might be expected.
There is now greater recognition of the help that psychological and cognitive-behavioural brief therapies can provide.
How long is brief therapy?
For most people up to six sessions of brief therapy are enough. Your therapist will help you to assess your needs and discuss this with you, usually in the first meeting. Some people need a few less than this and sometimes others may require a few more. Higher intensity therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and counselling also offer more sessions if this suits your needs. The main thing to remember is that the benefits of having treatment don’t have to stop when therapy ends: it will be up to you to keep putting what you have learned into practice.
How long do appointments last?
Your appointment will normally be between 45 – 60 minutes depending on the purpose of the session. Should a longer or shorter appointment be more appropriate your therapist will discuss this with you. Groups / workshop sessions may be 1-2 hours long and are held weekly.
How long will I have to wait for therapy?
We aim to offer prompt consultations / triage (within 4 weeks) to help you decide whether our service meets your needs whether this be via an information session ‘First Step session’ or an individual ‘Welcome Call’. The therapy times vary depending on the option chosen.
What is a Mindsmatter First Step session?
Our First Step sessions are an opportunity for us to provide you with information about the minds matter service, what stress is and what common mental health issues are, what your treatment options are and also for you to potentially book onto one of our variety of therapies / groups / workshops or arrange further discussion if you are unsure.
What is a Welcome Call?
A ‘Welcome Call’ is a booked telephone call (but can be arranged face to face if there are any hearing / language difficulties etc.) During which you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs further. This may be because you are unsure of the options that may be beneficial for your circumstances, you have received treatment previously with us or if you would like to discuss one of our one-to-one therapies such as CBT or counselling.
When are you open?
Mindsmatter is generally a 9-5 service however we try to be flexible where possible eg. Offering evening workshops / groups where convenient. Therapy appointments are generally available between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm monday to friday.
When should I consider brief psychological therapy?
It may be that you have already thought a lot about your problems, talked them over with other people and tried ways of helping yourself. This will have been an important step forward and it is possible that engaging in one of therapies may be helpful for you.
If you are uncertain about the nature or seriousness of your difficulties, or if you feel that despite all your efforts, you have become ‘stuck’ or don’t know what your options are, then a referral to minds matter and subsequent discussion may help you to find the right direction.
Is the Mindsmatter service confidential?
We comply with NHS confidentiality guidelines. The issue of confidentiality is important and your therapist / practitioner will be able to discuss this with you in detail.
Information relating to you and your treatment will remain confidential unless we have your consent to share it or where there is a risk to yourself or someone else.
There must be other people with problems worse than mine?
Tackling psychological and emotional problems early on avoids more serious difficulties later.
What is expected of me?
We find that the best results are achieved if you are committed, attend regularly and practice or reflect upon what you have learned in your therapy sessions. You need to be prepared to explore your difficulties in an open-minded way and tolerate the more unpleasant feelings this may bring about.
Your therapist / practitioner will discuss with you anything which might be useful for you to do in between sessions, such as reading self-help books, writing down your thoughts or paying attention to specific situations. One of the purposes and benefits of therapy is to develop personal awareness so that you know how things become difficult for you, and how you can improve them.
Could my family be involved in my treatment?
We recognise that peoples’ problems can affect the people around them, and it can sometimes be helpful for families and carers to receive information about mental health issues. However this would be entirely your choice. For reasons of confidentiality, we do not share information with members of your family about your therapy unless you have given your written consent for us to do so.
We generally ask that families and carers do not regularly attend therapy sessions, although if you would like them to attend one we, would encourage you to speak to your therapist about this. Sometimes this can be a good idea, to share ideas and strengthen relationships, though usually this is done on a one-off basis. If you require assistance to attend our service, we are happy for people to wait in our waiting room.
What if I am currently receiving treatment elsewhere?
If you are in treatment with another agency to help you deal with your mental health problems we would ask that you complete your treatment with them prior to referring for therapy with the Mindsmatter service.