Where are you based?
We work from locations across London and online. Please see individual therapists' profiles in the 'About us' section for their location details. Our groups are run in King's Cross, Islington and online via Zoom. For people who cannot access our service due to location or mobility issues we are offering therapy and skills classes sessions via video conferencing.
What kind of issues do you work with?
We are experienced in working with people who have endured various challenges in life from anxiety, trauma and depression through to severe interpersonal problems, self-harm and other difficulties associated with personality and behaviour. These difficulties may show themselves as angry outbursts, high stress, anxiety attacks, self-injury, suicide attempts and difficulties with eating, self-medicating or misusing substances.
We have specialist skills in delivering evidence-based psychological therapies recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as Emotionally Unstable or Emotion Regulation Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and in delivering Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to clients with a history of repeated bouts of depression.
Do I need be diagnosed with BPD/EUPD to access your services?
Not at all. We don't view the diagnosis as the ultimate statement on who you are as a person. The skills that are taught on our programmes can be of help if intense emotions, unmanageable distress or problematic behaviours interfere with your ability to be an effective human being, for example in the context of personal or professional relationships. The skills will assist you in coping effectively with extreme emotional sensitivity, mood swings, ADHD, eating difficulties, anger, depression, anxiety, intense relationships, impulsivity, and ultimately in building a "life worth living". The DBT skills classes can also be of help if you simply want to increase your emotional literacy and understand how and why emotions drive you to behave in particular ways and how to be more effective in your relationships.
What happens at the first appointment?
When you walk into the therapy room or have the online session for the first time we are aware of how anxious you may feel and what a huge step it may be for you. You will receive a warm and friendly welcome and we will do our best to help you feel comfortable and heard. The first appointment will be an assessment session and it’s an opportunity for you to outline the nature of your issue(s), ask questions and to see if you relate to the therapeutic model we offer. We will also ask you specific questions about various aspects of your personality and functioning and may ask you to fill in some questionnaires prior to the session or afterwards. We will also outline which therapy might be best-suited to your circumstances.
What happens after the assessment
Following the assessment, we meet as a team to think carefully about your therapy plan. You will be offered up to three pre-commitment sessions during which:
- you will be made aware of the expectations of the programme of your choice,
- you will learn about the biosocial model of emotional dysregulation and borderline personality (DBT) or the mentalisation model of attachment and borderline personality (MBT) and how they relate to your challenges,
- you will be supported in identifying your goals for therapy,
- you will be supported in coming up with a crisis plan,
- you will be offered a spot in one of our groups and agree on a start date.
In some circumstances we may feel that a further assessment session is necessary or we may refer you to an alternative service that could provide more tailor-made support.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies considerably. We provide both short-term and open-ended therapy. Many clients have found it helpful to commit to 6 sessions at the start. The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy programme requires a minimum commitment of 34 weeks after the assessment process and the recommended length of this intensive treatment is one year. It is possible to extend treatment when needed or to repeat some of the skills classes to solidify progress and skills acquisition. The Mentalisation-Based Treatment requires the minimum commitment of 12 months. However, it is possible to start spacing out individual sessions after the first three months of treatment. This will be discussed at the initial assessment and reviewed regularly.
How long does each session last?
Each session lasts 50 minutes. Groups last either 90 minutes or 2 hours. Couple therapy sessions can be extended to 75 minutes.
What is the difference between the 90-minute and 2-hour DBT skills classes?
The 90-minute groups are run by one skills facilitator at a time. The 2-hour group has two facilitators in each session.
How many participants are in each group?
There are up to ten participants in the 90-minute DBT groups, up to twelve in the 2-hour groups and up to nine participants in the MBT group.
Can I attend the DBT skills classes without individual DBT therapy?
Yes, you can. The skills classes can complement the therapy you receive outside of our team. They are also suitable for those who already completed individual therapy and now want to focus on acquiring new skills. The skills classes can also be suitable for those who are engaging in the stabilisation and safety stage of trauma-focused therapy. In rare circumstances we might conclude that attending the skills classes without individual input is not indicated and will explain the reasons why.
Are you a crisis service?
No, we are not. We operate on an appointment basis, however, we are committed to supporting individuals whose primary motivation is to manage their intense emotions and problematic behaviours and urges. Many of our clients who engage in treatment notice that the frequency of their crises decreases over time. If you are in crisis right now, you can access more relevant support through statutory services, your GP, Accident and Emergency Department or by calling 999.
Can I see a psychiatrist ?
We have a psychiatrist affiliated with our team who is available for psychiatric assessment or medical reviews. Although the reviews are optional clients can benefit from them before they begin the intensive programme in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or Mentalisation Based Treatment especially if they would like to monitor or adjust their medications or confirm the diagnosis. Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you'd like to arrange a psychiatric review.
Is your service confidential?
Yes, our services are confidential. We encourage our clients, however, to inform their GPs or other relevant health professionals about their involvement with our respective teams. As both DBT and MBT are team-based treatments, clinicians will discuss their clients' progress and when needed will seek the team's support as part of the weekly team consultation. No information will be shared outside of the consultation team, except where there are concerns around safety or court order.
Can I refer my partner, family member or a friend?
We recognise that for some clients it may be daunting to take the first step. You're welcome to make a referral on their behalf, however, it is important that they are copied in the email correspondence. We will respond by providing the relevant information about what's on offer and which therapists have availability for assessment.
Are you insured?
Each of our therapists operate on a self-employed basis and they have professional liability insurance.
Can your services be accessed through private medical insurance?
Some of our therapists are registered providers for private insurance companies, i.e. CIGNA, AXA-PPP, Vitality (formerly PruHealth), Aviva, Exeter Friendly and other smaller private insurance companies. Please check with your private or company health insurance that you are covered. You will usually need a referral letter from your GP or a psychiatrist if you wish to claim under a private medical insurance policy.
Are you members of a professional body?
Yes, we are members of different professional bodies such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), Society for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (SfDBT), British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) or Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Their ethical frameworks govern our work.
What is your cancellation policy?
Individual therapists' cancellation policies vary and they are normally discussed during one of the initial sessions. Generally, however, our policy for clients on the DBT and MBT programmes allows for 6 holiday absences a year and we request at least two weeks’ notice ahead of any scheduled holidays. For any other clients, including those in short-term counselling or in couples therapy, 24 hours notice is required to cancel or reschedule. Sessions cancelled within less than 24 hours will be charged in full.