Ten years of talking therapies
It’s ten years since talking therapies became routinely available for everyone on the NHS. Since then, they have helped millions of people to recover from common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression.
Talking therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT for short), involve talking with a trained professional to help you find ways to manage your mind and make changes, so you can live life to the full. They are recommended treatments for a wide range of issues, including:
- Low mood – including low self-esteem, depression, feeling down after a stressful life event or because of worries about relationships or work.
- Anxiety – including feeling hopeless about the future, unable to cope, anxiety about social situations, feelings of panic or worrying about obsessive thoughts.
“Talking therapies are proven to be as effective as medicines for many common mental health problems,” says consultant psychologist Dr. Jon Wheatley. “They have the same benefits, but without any unpleasant side-effects. Talking therapies also create long-lasting positive changes so you not only feel better but stay better. They put you in control, so you can get the most from life.”
Jon heads up Talk Changes, the confidential NHS talking therapies service for adults in City and Hackney, run by the Homerton Hospital. Over 95% of people who use Talk Changes say they would recommend it and most people have their first assessment to agree their treatment plan within two weeks.
“We take a very friendly and personal approach,” says Jon. “At the first appointment we’ll talk with you to find out what matters and what you want to achieve, so we can help you work towards your own goals.”
Talking therapies aren’t only available through regular face-to-face meetings. Talk Changes also support people over the phone, online or in groups, depending on personal preferences and what is most convenient.
The service continues to expand and is increasingly helping people who have a long-term physical health problem. “They may not feel depressed or anxious, but might be finding it difficult to keep up their mood and motivation. Learning new ways to cope can make it easier to follow treatment plans and live life to the full,” Jon explains.
“We all feel stressed, worried or down from time to time,” says Jon, “but if it goes on too long, or you feel like you can’t cope, get in touch with us. We can help.”
To find out more or arrange an initial telephone assessment:
- Visit www.talkchanges.org.uk
- Or call 0207 683 4278