Common Questions about Treatment with Better Therapy

Finding a therapist can be a confusing process. Please click on the links below to find out a more about what you can expect in therapy, making payments, or therapy referrals. Alternatively, please do get in touch with us if you have any other questions about our work.

1. What happens in therapy?

Treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy are called "talking therapies". Talking therapy involves working with a trained psychological therapist to improve the difficulties you are struggling with. Your clinician will always aim to treat you with warmth and respect, and so ensure that your sessions are a safe, supportive and comfortable experience.

Therapy appointments last 50 minutes. We offer a collaborative approach to treatment which means both you and your therapist work together as a team to improve your difficulties. You will be encouraged to provide feedback throughout the course of therapy so that your therapist is able to work with you in the most helpful way possible.

2. What happens at an initial consultation?

An initial consultation, which lasts 50 minutes, provides an opportunity to explore your difficulties and establish what you hope to gain from therapy. It also provides you with an opportunity to meet your clinician and decide if you feel comfortable working with them.

At the end of the initial assessment, your clinician will provide you with an individualised understanding of your difficulties. Based upon this and your goals for treatment, your clinician will explain what therapy is likely to involve and how long will last. This tailor-made treatment plan will be informed by your personal needs and the latest clinical research. You will then be free to decide if you wish to take up treatment.

3. Will my personal information be kept confidential?

It is important that you feel as comfortable as possible in therapy. For this reason, any information that you share with your clinician will be kept strictly confidential. All of our therapists are chartered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and adhere to their codes of conduct regarding the protection of confidential information.

In rare situations, your clinician may have a professional duty to extend the boundaries of confidentiality. Situations where this may be necessary include there being a risk you may harm yourself or someone else, or if they are concerned about your physical health. Sharing information in this way will always be with a view to keeping you or someone else safe. If your clinician is concerned about your safety, they will discuss this with you.

4. How long will therapy last?

It can be difficult to predict the length of therapy as each individual is different. Factors such as the challenges you are experiencing and your goals for therapy will influence the recommended length of treatment.

Generally, we find that most people begin to experience improvements within the first three to six sessions. Treatments at Better Therapy can be provided on a short-term or longer-term basis according to your needs. We are always happy to work within the time-frames you provide us or over a fixed number of sessions. However, since our clinicians work privately, you are not limited to a certain number of appointments. You can be assured that your progress will be reviewed in every session and that treatment can be adjusted in light of any changes in your circumstances.

5. How quickly can I expect to see improvements?

At Better Therapy we aim to help you achieve positive changes as quickly as possible. Our priority will always be to help you experience improvements in a speedy and long-lasting fashion.  

6. Is my clinician qualified?

Clinicians at Better Therapy are trained at the highest levels for practising therapists. Our handpicked clinicians have completed training at doctoral (and often post-doctoral) levels and have practised for many years. Our expertise is reflected by our accreditation with the Health and Care Professions Council (the national regulator of practitioner psychologists) and British Psychological Society (which charters practitioner psychologists), as well as our recognition by leading healthcare insurers.

Clinicians at Better Therapy are also accredited by specialist psychotherapy regulators. For example, the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) is the only body in the UK which provides accreditation to fully qualified cognitive behavioural therapists.  

7. Is there a difference between psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists?

The variety of mental health professions and talking therapies available today is vast. Whilst there is some overlap between these different professions, there are also some important differences both in terms of their level of training and the type of support they are able to provide.

Psychiatrists are medical professionals who have chosen to specialise in the field of mental health. Psychiatrists are responsible for providing psychiatric diagnoses and prescribing medications to treat mental illnesses. Relatively few psychiatrists have completed training in talking therapies.

Counsellors provide supportive and non-directive ("unstructured") talking therapies. These are usually provided over a relatively short period of time (for example, six - eight sessions) but may be longer. Counselling can be helpful when an individual requires support during a difficult period in life or has suffered an important loss (for example, bereavement counselling). Counselling training is relatively short (around one year) but individual counsellors may be very experienced. 

Psychotherapists are mental health professionals who have completed specialist training in a specific form of psychotherapy (for example, psychoanalytic psychotherapy) but they may also be trained in several psychotherapies. Psychotherapy training is typically completed over two - four years.

Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists (also known as "practitioner psychologists") are trained to provide many different types of talking therapy. They are also able to conduct psychological assessments, use psychometric tests (for example, personality tests), and carrying out clinical research. Some Psychologists go on to complete psychotherapy training after they have completed their doctoral training. Clinical and Counselling Psychologists complete around six years of training (three years of undergraduate and at least three years of postgraduate study), often in addition to extended periods of clinic-based work experience.  

Clinicians at Better Therapy are fully qualified Clinical or Counselling Psychologists. In addition, they have completed (or are in the process of completing) specialist training to practice in Psychotherapy as well. They have provided talking therapies for many years within the NHS and privately, and have been handpicked because of the high quality of their clinical practice. 

8. What makes Better Therapy different to other psychotherapy services?

Finding a suitably qualified therapist can be daunting. Clinicians at Better Therapy have completed doctoral training in either Clinical or Counselling Psychology and have been practising for many years. Their training means they are experienced in providing many different types of psychotherapy which can be integrated according to an individual's needs. It also means that they are trained researchers and so are aware of the latest developments in psychotherapy research. In addition, Better Therapy clinicians have completed (or are completing) further specialist training in particular psychotherapies. This means they are trained to the highest standards for a particular therapeutic approach.

9. What does “evidence-based treatment” mean and why is it important?

Whilst there are many forms of psychological therapy available, only a small proportion are proven to work through scientific research. “Evidence-based practice” refers to the provision of therapies which are shown to be effective. At Better Therapy, we only provide treatments which are proven to work. This ensures that you receive the best treatment possible, using the most helpful therapies available.

For more information about evidence-based therapies recommended for treating specific emotional difficulties, please visit the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) where disorder-specific guidelines are available.

10. Can I speak to a clinician in a crisis?

Clinicians at Better Therapy are available to you at your scheduled appointment time(s). However, they are unable to provide emergency support in the event of a crisis and you are encouraged to seek other help in such an event. Additional sources of support include the Samaritans (08457 90 90 90), your GP, and (if you feel at acute risk) your local Accident and Emergency Service.

Frequently Asked Questions about Referrals and Payments

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1. Do you accept self-referrals and/or referrals from healthcare professionals?

We welcome both self-referrals and referrals from other healthcare professionals, including General Practitioners (GPs), Psychiatrists, and healthcare insurers. 

2. Can I use my healthcare insurance?

Clinicians at Better Therapy are recognised as specialist providers of psychological therapy by most healthcare insurers. These include Bupa, AXA-PPP, Cigna, and Pruhealth. Whether you are able to access psychological therapy through your insurer, and the number of sessions available to you, will depend upon your policy. Please contact your insurer for more information or speak to one of our clinicians for further assistance.

3. How can I pay for my sessions?

We offer a number of convenient payment options including cash payments and online bank transfer. We kindly request that payments for appointments are made at least 24 hours in advance of your session. We do not accept payments after appointments.

4. Do you offer discounts or concessions?

We offer a very limited number of reduced-rate daytime appointments. Please contact us to see if these are available to you.

Is there something we've missed?

Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions about the services we offer. We would we very happy to tell you more!