If you have a question not answered here, please feel free to contact us on 01865 901 222 or by email at oxon-talking-therapies@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

Getting help

How do I get help?

You can access the service in a number of ways, which can be found here.

If you are aged between 16-18 you will need to go through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) spa team by contacting 01865 902515 (during normal working hours).

You can also email OxonCAMHSSPA@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk or visit www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/camhs/oxon/ for detailed information.

How much does it cost?

NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies is part of the NHS and is a free service to anyone who is eligible and wants our treatment within Oxfordshire.

How do I know if I am eligible?

We see patients aged 16 or over who are registered with a GP surgery in Oxfordshire.

We are trained to treat people with common mental health problems, therefore if you are experiencing a severe mental health episode or have a diagnosis such as Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder, we are not the most appropriate service for you. In this case we will discuss a referral to other local services.

You will also need to complete a telephone assessment, in special circumstances we are able to arrange face-to-face assessments if needed, for example due to hearing difficulties. The clinician will be able to assess your current needs and discuss the most appropriate support with you.

Am I eligible if I see a private GP?

It is becoming more common that people may decide to see a private GP, this can be for many reasons including convenience. This does not exclude people from accessing treatment elsewhere in the NHS as they would do usually. Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust ask, however, that anyone using our services when registered with a private GP also register with a local GP. This does not stop patients accessing care via their private GP if they so wish. This allows local service to liaise with a local GP if the need arises to ensure we are coordinating the best possible care for people using our services.

What if I am in urgent need of help?

If you or someone else, needs urgent help or feel at any kind of risk, please click here for crisis contact information.

We would encourage you to reach out for support immediately.

How long does it take to get an appointment?

Once you have contacted us, our team will screen your mental health records to look at any current or past history. If they have any questions they will make contact with you to determine if an assessment would be appropriate.

We aim to process your referral within 48 hours and then would aim to get you booked into a telephone assessment as soon as possible, often within 3 – 5 days. Face-to-face assessments are also available for people with for example hearing difficulties or learning difficulties such as being unable to have long conversations on the phone.

All about treatment

What is a NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies assessment?

Our telephone assessments usually take up to 40 minutes. We would expect that you would be in a private and quiet area, so that you can speak freely and without distractions.

Due to our policy at NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies and for your safety, we are unable to speak with you whilst you are driving. Even if you are using hands-free communication we would still be unable to go ahead with the call unless you were able to pull over and stop at a safe location.

The assessment is a structured call and covers a range of screening questions to determine your current difficulties and support needs, as well as deciding whether we can provide you with appropriate support or if another service would be better suited to your needs.

To make the assessment as straightforward as possible, we would please ask you to complete the questionnaires in advance of your appointment. Questionnaires can be found here.

We do have to cover some sensitive questions during the assessment, which will be about you and your family which you may find difficult to answer, however we have to ask these to ensure that we fully understand your current situation to be able to provide you with the best support.

Our clinicians are trained to support you with answering difficult questions and if you need to take a moment then please do say so.

Where possible we would encourage you to have something scheduled in after the assessment call to look forward to, such as a relaxing or pleasurable activity eg. having a hot drink, listening to music, going for a walk, speaking to a friend.

What are the treatment options?

Following your assessment we will be able to discuss treatment options or next steps with you.

For more information about the treatment options we offer at please click here.

If I am offered treatment what should I expect?

You can expect regular sessions with the same clinician. During sessions you will work together to help you reach your goals and you will develop ideas for things you can try outside your sessions – putting things into practice between sessions will be an important part of therapy.

You will be expected to attend your sessions and to let your therapist know in advance if, for any reason, you are unable to attend.

In order for treatment to work well it is important you attend your sessions. If for any reason you are unable to attend your session it is important to let your therapist know in advance (e.g. if you are unwell, have childcare problems).

However, we do have a policy where if you miss two or more appointments, you may be discharged and you will have to re-refer if further treatment is required.

Do you treat insomnia?

In the context of depression/anxiety we consider sleep difficulties, but we do not offer CBTi anymore.

What does it mean?

What does CBT mean?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is a psychological treatment for both depression and different anxiety disorders.

CBT is a practical and structured approach that provides coping strategies which you can try out with our support.

CBT helps people to see how their thoughts affect how they feel and how they behave.

What do we mean by talking therapies?

The treatment we offer is predominantly based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This talking therapy helps you to:

  • Understand why you feel as you do.
  • Look at the links between your feelings, thoughts, symptoms and behaviours.
  • Find out what you would like to change.
  • Discover new ways of coping now and in the future.

Some people refer to CBT as a ‘doing therapy’, as it is based on practical support.

You will learn techniques and strategies to enable you to make changes to your behaviours and thoughts. This in turn will help you feel better.

Accessing the service

Where is the service based?

Our main base is in Oxford. However, we have clinicians working across the county in order to try and reach out to as many people as possible.

Therefore, you can find us in some GP surgeries, Oxfordshire Mind buildings and community centres throughout the region.

What if someone does not speak English as a first language?

If you or someone you know wants help, but does not speak English, an interpreter can be provided. We will organise this for you on your behalf and there will be no charge for this.

Can I bring someone with me?

On the courses and groups unfortunately due to space restrictions and to ensure confidentiality is maintained, we are unable to allow any additional people to come along.

However, if you feel that it would be helpful to have someone travel with you, please make arrangements to meet them afterwards.

If you are in one to one treatment please discuss this with your therapist.

Can I be seen outside of office hours?

One to one appointments are usually in working hours (8am-5pm) available on Monday to Friday. However, we do have some limited capacity in the evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Additionally, we do also have evening courses and online treatment options available that if suitable will be discussed with you.

Please let us know in advance if there are factors which make it difficult for you to attend your scheduled appointment and we may be able to do something to help.

Can I choose the gender of my therapist?

Yes, we would be able to accommodate this request if you have a particular preference, please do let us know.

We can also attempt to accommodate other preferences, such as cultural or religious requests where we are able to do so.

This would be dependent upon the staff currently employed within the service and this availability may change depending on staffing levels.

What time should I arrive for the course?

It is fine to arrive just before the course sessions start, however we understand that some people would prefer to arrive a little earlier, particularly on the first session.

For this reason, doors will open 15 minutes before the start time of the each session. 

What happens if I am late for a session?

If it is an individual session we discuss with you whether we need to rearrange. However, if we do go ahead it will finish at the prearranged time.

If it is a course/group, we would always rather someone arrived late than miss the whole session.

However, we would encourage you to avoid being late where possible as it can be a little disruptive to others.

If you arrive after the start of the session the course facilitators will not make a fuss and will be available either during the break or at the end if you would like to discuss anything.

What happens if I cannot attend a session?

If you cannot make a session we would  ask that you let us know as soon as possible beforehand, either by speaking to your named therapist or by phoning our admin team on: 01865 901 222

Locations and parking

For maps and other details about where our courses and one-to-one treatment sessions are held, please click here.

Information about whether parking is available is included on the maps.

If you have any questions or would prefer to speak to someone then please give our admin team a call on 01865 901 222.

We will do our best to provide any further information that might be needed but unfortunately we are unable to reimburse any travel costs. 

Can I access support if registered to Unity Health?

If you are registered at the Rycote Surgery with Unity Health, please contact Buckinghamshire Talking Therapies to access treatment for anxiety or depression. You can do this by going to their website by clicking here.

Can I access support whilst outside of the UK?

If you are outside of the UK (holidaying, studying or working) at any time we are unable to offer you care.

Our clinicians will routinely ask about your whereabouts as part of checking you are in a confidential and safe place to be able to proceed with the appointment, if not you will be offered the opportunity to rebook for when you are back in Oxfordshire.

Health records

Will my information be shared with anyone else?

We have a legal duty to keep your information confidential. We share information about you with other healthcare providers to ensure we provide you with the best possible care.

We are unable to provide you with a service if you do not give consent for us to keep your GP informed, as they are considered your primary care co-ordinator.

We cannot give other organisations information without your consent, this might include housing departments, education services or your employer.

This also includes family members – if they contact us on your behalf we cannot share any information unless we have your consent to do so.

The only exception to breaking confidentiality is if there is a concern about safety to either yourself or someone around you, then we would have a duty of care to share certain information with appropriate organisations or named persons as necessary. We would attempt to keep you informed where possible.

Can I access my health records?

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives patients the right to apply for access to their own records, held either on computer or on paper.

If you are receiving treatment you may arrange to discuss your records informally with your healthcare professional.

Otherwise you can write to the health records manager to request access to your records. Please click here for further information.

What is the National Data Opt-Out?

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public.

The information collected about you when you are using NHS services can be provided to other approved organisations, where there is a legal basis, to help with planning services, improving care provided, research into developing new treatments and preventing illness.  All of these help to provide better health care for you, your family and future generations.

The information we use about your health and care will not identify you and is only used as allowed by law and would never be used for another purpose without your explicit consent.

You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way.

You can find out more about the wider use of confidential personal information and to register your choice by visiting:

Make your choice about sharing data from your health records – NHS (www.nhs.uk) Your choice can be submitted online, via email, letter or via telephone.

You can also read more about Oxford Health’s information sharing policies here: Information sharing – Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Page last reviewed: 17 June, 2024