This is a commonly asked question which is difficult to answer without meeting you in person and gaining a clear understanding of your difficulties. CBT is time-limited; typically, it lasts between 5-20 sessions. However, if a problem is long-standing (has been around for many years) or you have multiple problems, therapy can last longer than 20 sessions. For example, individuals with long-standing personality difficulties (affecting their relationships) may benefit from longer-term CBT.
Ideally, we will meet weekly at the start of treatment. Once you start to feel better we will discuss reducing the frequency of our sessions to every fortnight, etc. When you feel ready to end therapy, we can plan some follow-up appointments to help you maintain the progress you have made, usually at 3 and 6 month intervals.
Following assessment, It can take a few sessions for you to start to benefit from the therapeutic techniques that you will learn. You will be introduced to a set of skills and techniques that will require practice on your part, between sessions. The practice that you put in between sessions is just as important as the therapy session. It can be likened to learning a new language or a musical instrument. Progress will be much slower if you only attend the lesson once a week but don't practice in between.
You can refer yourself, however if you would like to pay for your treatment through your health insurance company, your health insurer may require you to have a referral by your GP, or by a consultant psychiatrist.
I accept referrals from GPs, Consultant Psychiatrists, other Health Professionals, Employers, Occupational Health Departments, Insurance Companies and Solicitors. I am a registered provider with AXA, Vitality and Cigna Healthcare.