Talking Therapies in Oxford

How we work and what you can expect

Our practitioners understand that often a person's current condition is a reflection of difficult situations and life-events that have occurred to them, rather than via any "fault" in how they might have managed it.  We therefore approach therapy with a compassionate and non-judgemental frame of mind.

The first meeting

The first session is more of an information sharing exercise that aims to help you decide whether therapy would be beneficial to you and whether the therapist appears to be a good "fit".

After the first session you are free to decide whether or not to undertake therapy and/or to continue working with this particular therapist. It may be that you would prefer the style or skill set of one of our other therapists.  Of course the therapist also undertakes these considerations and may occasionally recommend another professional who they think will better suit your needs.

There are many other aims to the first session, including getting an understanding of the difficulties that you are facing and clarifying goals for therapy.  Your therapist is likely to ask you a lot of questions during this first meeting and it will have a slightly different feel to the subsequent sessions.

The course of treatment and ending therapy

An important component of standard CBT is that therapy always starts with the end in mind, and this of course will be driven by both the problems encountered and the goals set in the first sessions. CBT aims to offer discrete time-limited therapy, often lasting around six to 20 sessions.  An implicit goal is to teach the individual to become their "own CBT therapist". Of course there will be occasions when individuals may desire further sessions. Many research trials schedule booster sessions some time after the completion of the main body of therapy, which can also be helpful in dealing with setbacks.

Some of the other therapies we offer can also be short term and stand alone (for example, Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy typically follows an eight-week session plan).  However, mindfulness can also be integrated into your experience of standard CBTSchema Therapy or indeed Coaching. 

Schema Therapy tends to be a more medium to longer term therapy commitment (although again, components of ST can be incorporated into other therapy work).  The number of sessions needed will depend on the difficulties you experience and the goals you set, and can vary from a 6 month to 3 year commitment.