Group therapies


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

The class uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help people struggling with low mood and/or anxiety. Research tells us that lots of the things that maintain these difficulties are similar for both problems. It is also common for people to experience both low mood and anxiety.

The class involves 8 weekly sessions of two hours each, with a 15-minute break in the middle of each session. The sessions include a mixture of power-point presentations, group and pair discussions, and exercises to practice new skills.

During the group you will learn how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours interact and how we sometimes unintentionally get stuck in unhelpful patterns. You will be supported to recognise these unhelpful patterns, that are often an understandable response to difficult experiences. The class aims to help you develop skills to find new ways of responding to difficult thoughts and feelings (which we will practice during and between sessions).

Learn more: What is CBT? (docx)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for psychosis recovery

ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is a form of CBT which aims to help individuals to live a life that is rich and fulfilling.   It is a particularly helpful approach for individuals who have lived with difficulties for longer and can feel more stuck. ACT has a broad relevance because at its heart is a model which recognises that we all become ‘stuck’ through struggling with difficult thoughts and feelings. The aims of the ACT for Psychosis Recovery class include:

  • Developing life direction
  • Increasing awareness of obstacles
  • Learning the skills of being open, aware and active in order to respond more effectively to obstacles

The class is designed for service users who experience ongoing psychosis. It will run over 7 sessions including an initial taster session which will be a chance to meet other participants, find out more about the class and try out some of the exercises. Each session will last for two hours and will run as a skills workshop. Participants will be asked to talk about how they find practices and what they notice from exercises, but they won’t be asked to talk about their personal issues in depth.

Learn more: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (docx)

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) class

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy combines mindfulness practices with the techniques in cognitive behavioural therapy to support you in developing a better understanding of the workings of your mind, recognise patterns and mental habits, and helping you be kinder and gentler towards yourself.

The class lasts for 8 weeks, with 2-hour sessions but also requires service users to practice the skills and techniques they have learnt in their own time each week. The class is structured starting with a meditation practice. Each week has a different theme that is explored within the session, and a meditation practice or cognitive exercise is used to explore this theme. MBCT is designed to help service users recognise early warning signs of distress and take helpful action when noticed.

Learn more: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (docx)

Mentalisation based therapy (MBTi) class

Mentalisation is the ability to think about our own thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and behaviours as well as thinking about other people’s thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and behaviours. These are classes for those who would benefit from learning about and developing skills to improve their mentalisation.

Mentalisation is linked to empathy: people who struggle with mentalisation might misinterpret other people’s behaviours and intentions, which can in turn lead to strong emotions and impulsive or withdrawn behaviours. The main aim of the class is to improve our ability to manage intense distressing emotions which can feel overwhelming at times.

MBT Classes consist of 11 sessions for 2 hours per week and they are structured closed classes (having clear tasks and agendas for each stage of the class), with a psychoeducational component.

Members of these classes are given an MBT workbook which provides an overview of the course content and is designed to be used as a guide for each week, as well as a place to make notes and record how they are implementing MBT outside of the class sessions.

Learn more: Mentalisation Classes Leaflet (docx)


Mentalisation based therapy group

MBT group therapy is a longer term more specialised mentalisation based group.

Learn more: Mentalisation Classes Leaflet (docx)

Understanding and coping with trauma group

The group is for individuals experiencing symptoms of PTSD or Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) to learn about their symptoms and actively develop some coping strategies. It may be a great first step for individuals hoping to move onto the next stage of trauma-focused therapy.

The group is made up of six, 2-hour sessions, held weekly. It is a psychoeducation group focused on developing understanding around PTSD and learning copings strategies. Attendees will not be expected to discuss their individual trauma experiences in order to maintain a safe and supportive environment.

Each session will involve going through ground rules, a recap of learning from the previous session, feedback on the home tasks, and the plan for the current session. We will be encouraging group discussions to facilitate learning, although there is no pressure for attendees to speak. Each session will include various exercises and practises.

Learn more: Understanding and Coping with Trauma (docx)

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) group

The Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Group is designed for people who feel ‘stuck’ in their life and who are struggling to move forward in therapy.

The CAT Group takes place over 16 weeks for 2 ½ hours each week. The group focuses on making connections between the experiences those attending have had in their past, and the problematic feelings, thoughts, and actions they experience in the present. By the end of the 16 weeks, members of the group should have a clearer idea of what causes them to feel stuck (both in therapy as well as in other areas of their lives) and they should also have a straight-forward plan of how to work at overcoming their experience of being stuck.

CAT places a particular emphasis on how past difficulties have influenced the way we understand and relate to others. It aims to help us explore new ways of understanding both ourselves and other people, which in turn contributes to improved ways of relating to others.

CAT utilises a number of different techniques, including the possibility of written work and the creation of a diagram which ‘maps’ out individual patterns of thinking and behaviour in a procedural format (including mapping out the new patterns of thinking and behaviour which members of the group develop over the course of the programme).

Learn more: CAT (docx)

Psychodynamic analytic group

Learn more: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (docx)

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Page last reviewed: 31 August, 2022