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Silver Cloud

What is it? 

SilverCloud is an exciting online therapy programme proven to help with stress, anxiety, low-mood and depression. Some examples of anxiety problems it can help with are; obsessive compulsive disorder, health anxiety, phobias, panic and social anxiety. 

There are a range of programmes, including extra activities and ideas from mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy. The programme is flexible; use it anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. You can even access it on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. 

What does the programme involve?

This programme takes approximately 6-8 weeks to complete and each weekly session takes around 40 minutes. All you will need is access to the internet and sound on a computer, tablet or mobile. State of the art technology is used in SilverCloud with easy to follow programmes to help you in your recovery journey.

The programme includes: 

  • Video clips 
  • Interactive quizzes 
  • A journal 
  • Mindfulness exercises

How will this help me? 

  • By improving your understanding of ways to manage stress, low mood and depression as well as a range of anxiety related problems 
  • Giving you the opportunity to practice your learning between sessions 
  • Providing you with access to on-going reviews and support from one of our team members via email or over the phone

Who runs the sessions?

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) will work alongside you to use a proven approach called ‘Guided Self-Help’.

How do I access this?

Click here to self refer or call 0300 302 1313

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 30 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Calming Anxiety and Boosting Mood

What is it? 

The Calming Anxiety and Boosting Mood (CABM) course is a psychological educational course run within a group setting. If you are aged 16 or older and registered with a Worcestershire GP, you can self-refer to attend a course. The CABM course is designed to help you understand and recognise low mood, anxiety and panic and help you learn skills and techniques to combat it.

What does the programme involve?

The course consists of six sessions. Each session lasts for two hours and they are delivered weekly. There will be some group discussions, however, it is up to you how much or how little you choose to say in front of the group. There is homework involved as part of the CBT approach and in order to get the full benefit of the course, it is recommended that you complete the tasks outside of the course. 

How will this help me? 

The course will help you to understand your low mood and/or anxiety and learn strategies on how to manage this and challenge your thoughts.

Who runs the sessions?

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) will work alongside you to use a proven approach called ‘Guided Self-Help’.

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 0300 302 1313

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 30 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Living Well with a Respiratory Condition Course

What is it? 

Having a long term condition such as asthma or COPD can affect all areas of our life, not just our physical health. The Living Well with Respiratory Problems course is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT looks at how our thoughts and behaviour affect the way we feel. Our aim is to give you the tools with which to manage your mood and condition, in order for you to feel happier, healthier and more in control of life.

What does the programme involve?

The Living Well with Respiratory problems course consists of six sessions. Each session lasts for two hours and they are delivered weekly. It is an educational course which is delivered in a group setting. There will be some group discussions, however, it is up to you how much or how little you choose to say in front of the group.

How will this help me? 

It is common for people living with COPD or other chronic respiratory problems to feel anxious or low in mood. Physical symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing and fatigue can add to feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. These feelings can lead to reduced activity levels with may worsen the condition.

Some people experience a lot of distress and panic when feeling breathless to the point where they may fear being left alone. Others experience a loss of hope or frustration about the condition or its impact on daily life tasks. 

A lot of people do not speak to anyone about the emotional impact of living with a respiratory problem. Sometimes this is because they feel nothing can be done to help them or they may feel other people will not understand. Some people worry that others will judge them.

While the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Teams are trained to help with a range of emotional difficulties, you can also have support from Healthy Minds. We will aim to help you improve your mood, reduce anxiety, worry less and gain more motivation.

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 0300 302 1313

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 30 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Living Well with Diabetes Course

What is it? 

Having a long term condition such as Diabetes can affect all areas of our life, not just our physical health. The Living Well with Diabetes course is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT looks at how our thoughts and behaviour affect the way we feel. Our aim is to give you the tools with which to manage your mood and condition, in order for you to feel happier, healthier and more in control of life.

Whether you have been diagnosed recently, or have been living with diabetes for a while, it can have a huge effect on day to day life. People sometimes struggle with: 

  • Remembering to take medication, such as insulin or metformin which manages the condition and prevents the condition worsening 
  • Attending regular appointments to keep a check on their health 
  • Not being as active as they once were 
  • Feeling panicky or anxious when they experience high or low blood sugar levels 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Feeling tired and a lack of energy 
  • Eating healthily or maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Worry about their condition, or things getting worse 
  • Feeling low in mood, and “down in the dumps” 
  • Feeling frustrated and angry about how to manage their condition 
  • Feeling socially left out, or that people are judging them

 What does the programme involve?

The Living Well with Diabetes course consists of six sessions. Each session lasts for two hours and they are delivered weekly. It is an educational course which is delivered in a group setting. There will be some group discussions, however, it is up to you how much or how little you choose to say in front of the group.

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 0300 302 1313

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 30 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Group

What is it? 

• Acceptance of unwanted thoughts, emotions, physical sensations 

• Commitment to embark on new behaviours

The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group is a powerful psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research into how the human mind works. It has been clinically proven to be successful in a wide range of psychological problems. The unusual name of this therapy comes from one of its key themes: Learn how to accept those things that are out of your control and commit to changing those things that can be changed to make your life better. 

What does the programme involve?

The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group runs for 10 weeks, two hour sessions per week. It is a very active therapy, in which you will learn new skills to improve your quality of life. 

We have two basic aims in this therapy which are:

  • To help you create a rich, full and meaningful life.
  • To teach you a set of skills that will allow you to handle painful thoughts and feelings far more effectively, in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you. We call these skills ‘mindfulness skill’.

How will this help me? 

ACT may be helpful to you if you are ready to:

  • learn skills in managing difficult thoughts and feelings
  • address ‘stuck cycles’ of anxiety and depression behaviour 
  • set behavioural goals in line with how you want life to be
  • take a fresh look at who or what is important in your life

 Who runs the sessions?

A Cognitive Behavioural Therapist will work alongside you. 

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 01905 760 837

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 50 minutes and they are completed over the phone

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

What is it? 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a group programme that combines meditation and cognitive behaviour therapy in order to help people manage problems with recurrent depression and stress.

MBCT will help you if you:

  • have experienced two or more episodes of low mood/ depression in the past. 
  • are motivated and able to commit to attending the group for two hours a week.
  • are willing to undertaking 30 to 40 minutes of daily mindfulness practice.

What does the programme involve?

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an eight week group treatment, each session lasting two hours and they are delivered weekly. Mindfulness requires some degree of concentration and an ability to sit with unpleasant or distressing experiences without using unhelpful coping strategies such as drinking or self-harming. A realistic intention to undertake daily mindfulness practice is necessary to join the group.

How will this help me? 

MBCT attempts to provide the necessary tools to combat depressive symptoms as they arise. When these skills have been learned, then you may be able to revert to these methods in times of distress or when faced with potentially overwhelming situations. 

Who runs the sessions?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapists will help you to understand and recognise unhelpful thoughts and behaviours which negatively impact on your mood and emotions. 

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 01905 760 837

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 50 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Overcoming Worry Group

What is it? 

Do you:

  • Worry a lot about different things in daily life?
  • Believe worry helps you plan or do things better, or it is a sign you care?
  • Have a lot of different ‘What if thoughts …?’ about the future?
  • Believe you were born a ‘worrier’?
  • Experience muscle tension – especially in your neck and shoulders?
  • Have trouble sleeping?
  • Feel restless, on edge, irritable, tired or exhausted easily?

 It may be that you are experiencing Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or excessive worry. The recommended psychological treatment for GAD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT in a group setting is beneficial because you will have the chance to meet other people with similar difficulties whilst learning how to better deal with the experiences listed above.

What does the programme involve?

The overcoming worry group involves CBT in a group setting. There are nine sessions, each session last two hours every week. You are required to engage with the group and share your experiences in order to gain the full benefit of the treatment. Everything discussed in the group is treated with strict confidentiality, this is agreed as a group and you would be expected to adhere to this agreement. There is an expectation that you will implement and practice the coping strategies between group session.

How will this help me? 

The Overcoming Worry group will help you to:

  • Improve your understanding of anxiety and worry.
  • Learn new skills and techniques to manage your worry.
  • Recognise what is a current worry and what is a hypothetical worry.
  • Set goals in line with how you want life to be.
  • Make changes to feel better.

Who runs the sessions?

A Cognitive Behavioural Therapist will work alongside you to use a proven approach called ‘Guided Self-Help’. 

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 01905 760 837

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 50 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Connections Counselling Group

What is it? 

The Connections Counselling group consists of 10 weekly sessions. Each session lasts for two hours. This group will provide safe and supportive environment to explore experiences involving other people, and help you make positive changes in how you relate to people in your life. To achieve this, we will provide psycho-education and you will be invited to engage in various activities, such as creative work, reflections and discussion.

What does the programme involve?

  • Managing your emotions
  • Relationship patterns
  • Bullying and assertiveness
  • Nurturing relationships and dysfunctional relationships
  • Communication with others
  • Restoring your relationship with yourself

How will this help me? 

This group is for you if you have difficulties with some of your relationships, maintaining relationships, or problematic patterns in relationships with other people. You will have mild to moderate depression or low mood. You will need to be motivated to break repetitive patterns of behaviour and set healthy boundaries. You are expected to open up about your feelings, and listen to others. In the first session we will agree ground rules in order to make the group a ‘safe space’ for exploration. 

The group is not suitable for you if you:

  • Use drugs, alcohol or self-harm to cope
  • Have a history of trauma likely to be triggered during group exercises
  • Are highly socially anxious
  • Believe your difficulties are due to external factors alone
  • Have a specific problem, like OCD, health anxiety, bipolar
  • Have a large degree of instability in your life

Who runs the sessions?

Two Counsellors who are trained to listen to you and help you deal with difficult thoughts and feelings you may have by trying to understand from your frame of reference. 

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 0300 302 1313

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 50 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Improving Self-Esteem Counselling Group

What is it? 

The Improving Self-Esteem Counselling group consists of 10 weekly sessions. Each session lasts for two hours. This group will help you to identify the ways in which low self-esteem might contribute to your depression and help you to make changes to improve your self-esteem and confidence. We will start off each week by presenting a topic for discussion; and then invite you to talk about and share your own experiences and support each other in finding ways to move forward.

What does the programme involve?

  • How to manage difficult emotions and care for yourself
  • Exploring the origins of low self-esteem
  • Developing self-compassion
  • How relationships can impact on self-esteem
  • Improving assertiveness and communication skills
  • Making changes

How will this help me? 

This group is for you if you are critical of yourself and want to be able to understand where some of the negative feelings about yourself have come from. You will have mild to moderate depression or low mood. You will need to be motivated to make changes in your life, and the way you think about yourself. You are expected to open up about your feelings and listen to others. In the first session we will agree ground rules in order to make the group a ‘safe space’ for exploration. 

The group is not suitable for you if you:

  • Use drugs, alcohol or self-harm to cope
  • Have a history of trauma likely to be triggered during group exercises
  • Are highly socially anxious
  • Believe your difficulties are due to external factors alone
  • Have a specific problem, like OCD, health anxiety, bipolar
  • Have a large degree of instability in your life

Who runs the sessions?

Two Counsellors who are trained to listen to you and help you deal with difficult thoughts and feelings you may have by trying to understand from your frame of reference. 

How do I access this?  

Click here to self refer or call 0300 302 1313

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 50 minutes and they are completed over the phone.

Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness

This is a different approach to managing stress. The goal of mindful breathing is calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them. The aim is to concentrate only on the present moment, not the past and not the future. Much of our stress is linked to thoughts and feelings about the past and the future. Follow these instructions:

  • Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed or lowered and your back straight.
  • Bring your attention to your breathing.
  • Imagine that you have a balloon in your stomach. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates. Each time you breathe out, the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations as the balloon inflates and deflates. Your chest and stomach rising with the in-breath, and falling with the out-breath.
  • Thoughts will come into your mind, and that’s okay, because that’s just what the mind does. Just notice those thoughts, then bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • You can notice sounds, physical feelings, and emotions, and again, just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Don’t follow those thoughts or feelings, don’t judge yourself for having them, or analyse them in any way. It’s okay for the thoughts to be there. Just notice those thoughts, and let them drift on by; bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Whenever you notice that your attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings, simply note that attention has drifted, and then gently bring the attention back to your breathing.

Thoughts will enter your awareness, and your attention will follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing. The more you can practice this exercise the more it will help you to manage stress.

Controlled breathing

It is very common when someone becomes anxious for changes to occur in their breathing. They can begin to gulp air, thinking that they are going to suffocate, or can begin to breathe really quickly. This has the effect of making them feel dizzy and therefore more anxious. This is called over-breathing, or hyperventilation.

Try to recognise if you are doing this and slow your breathing down. Getting into a regular slow rhythm of in two-three and out two-three will soon return your breathing to normal. Some people find it helpful to use the second hand of a watch to time their breathing.

Other people have found breathing into a paper bag or cupped hands helpful. For this to work you must cover your nose and mouth. 

If you are over-breathing it usually takes at least three minutes of slow breathing or breathing into a bag for your breathing to return to normal.

Distraction

If you take your mind off your symptoms you will find that the symptoms often disappear. Try to look around you. Study things in detail, registration numbers, what sort of shoes people are wearing, conversations. Again, you need to distract yourself for at least three minutes before symptoms will begin to reduce. Whilst relaxation, breathing exercises and distraction techniques can help reduce anxiety it is vitally important to realise that anxiety is not harmful or dangerous. Even if we did not use these techniques, nothing awful would happen. 

Deep muscle relaxation

It is helpful to read the instructions first and then gradually learn them off by heart. Start by selecting quite a warm, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. To begin with choose a time of day when you feel most relaxed. Lie down, get comfortable, close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes, breathing slowly and calmly: in two-three and out two-three. Say the words “calm” or “relax” to yourself as you breathe out. The relaxation exercise takes you through different muscle groups, teaching you firstly to tense, then relax. Starting with your hands, clench one fist tightly. Think about the tension this produces in the muscles of your hand and forearm. Now do the same with the other hand.

Study the tension for a few seconds and then relax your hand. Notice the difference between the tension and the relaxation. You might feel a slight tingling, this is the relaxation beginning to develop. Now do the same with the other hand. Each time you relax a group of muscles think how they feel when they’re relaxed. Don’t try too hard to relax, just let go of the tension. Allow your muscles to relax as much as you can. Think about the difference in the way they feel when they’re relaxed and when they’re tense. Now do the same for the other muscles of your body. Each time tense them for a few seconds and then relax. Study the way they feel and then let go of the tension in them.

It is useful to stick to the same order as you work through the muscle groups:

  • Hands - clench fist, then relax.
  • Arms - bend your elbows and tense your arms. Feel the tension, especially in your upper arms. Remember, do this for a few seconds and then relax.
  • Neck - press your head back and roll it from side to side slowly. Feel how the tension moves. Then bring your head forward into a comfortable position.
  • Face - there are several muscles here, but it is enough to think about your forehead and jaw. First lower your eyebrows in a frown. Relax your forehead. You can also raise your eyebrows, and then relax. Now, clench your jaw, notice the difference when you relax.
  • Chest - take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, notice the tension, then relax. Let your breathing return to normal.
  • Stomach -tense your stomach muscles as tight as you can and relax.
  • Buttocks - squeeze your buttocks together, and relax.
  • Legs - straighten your legs and bend your feet towards your face. Finish by wiggling your toes.

You may find it helpful to get a friend to read the instructions to you. Don’t try too hard, just let it happen.

To make best use of relaxation you need to:

  • Practice daily.
  • Start to use relaxation in everyday situations.
  • Learn to relax without having to tense muscles.
  • Use parts of the relaxation to help in difficult situations, e.g. breathing slowly.

Develop a more relaxed lifestyle.

Working with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner

What is a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner?

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) will work alongside you to use a proven approach called ‘Guided Self-Help’. This includes setting realistic goals, looking at how you spend your time and how this can impact on your mood, learning new ways to solve difficult problems, and learning how to overcome and face fears. They can also help you learn ways to challenge and overcome negative thinking.

What does the programme involve?

A Psychological  Wellbeing Practitioner can offer you up to 6 one to one sessions, each session will last up to 30 minutes. During these sessions we will ask you to complete some questions for us to monitor your progress.

How will this help me?

A Psychological  Wellbeing Practitioner can help people improve their mental well being through a range of interventions such as short Psychological educational courses, online therapy programme; SilverCloud and guided self-help (one to one or telephone support). These have all been carefully designed to provide the right information and support you in learning the skills and techniques we know are proven to help combat stress, anxiety and depression.

A Psychological  Wellbeing Practitioner can make sure you have the right information and helpful techniques in order to manage and overcome stress, anxiety and depression.

How do I access this?

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 45 minutes and they are completed over the phone, to self-refer call 0300 302 13 13

Working with a Cognitive behavioural Therapist

What is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapists will help you to understand and recognise unhelpful thoughts and behaviours which negatively impact on your mood and emotions. These unhelpful thoughts and behaviours are often responsible for helping to maintain Depression or Anxiety. Cognitive Behavioural Therapists aim to support you to make positive changes and they are skilled in helping you to plan how to tackle and overcome barriers to recovery; as well as helping you to formulate your own relapse prevention plans when treatment is complete.

What does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy involve?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy tends to be short-term, you and a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist will work together to complete an assessment and then develop a plan of therapy. You will meet with a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist each week, the number of sessions offered will depend on the problem you need help with and sessions are typically an hour long.  You may be required to do some things in between sessions – this will be agreed between you and your therapist during each session. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy tends not to focus too much on things which have happened in the past and generally focuses more on what you are currently experiencing. However, in some cases, therapy may make a link between the past and the present in order to explain the development of current difficulties.  You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy involves hard work during and between sessions e.g. Keeping track of what you are thinking, feeling and doing, or trying out new ways of thinking or acting. Your Cognitive Behavioural Therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques in your daily life after your therapy ends.

How do I access this?

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 45 minutes and they are completed over the phone, to self-refer call 0300 302 13 13.

Working with a Counsellor

What is counselling?

Counselling is a form of talking therapy with a strong evidence-base for people experiencing depression.  Depression can be caused by many different life events and situations, including grief and loss; relationship and interpersonal difficulties; low self-esteem; and difficulties in adjusting to changed circumstances. 

Counselling provides a caring and confidential environment where you can talk about the difficulty you have in order to understand it more clearly or to make changes. 

A Counsellor is trained to listen to you and help you deal with difficult thoughts and feelings you may have by trying to understand from your frame of reference.

Counselling will mainly focus on a particular goal or area that you would like to make sense of, or change; allowing you to reflect, validating feelings and experiences. 

What does it involve?

In the first session, you will work with your Counsellor to form a clear understanding of your difficulty and the impact it is having on your everyday life, as well as setting overall aims for your work together.  Before you start counselling it is helpful to think about the area that you would like to work on and any changes that you would like to make.

Counselling is generally for 6 sessions and each session lasts for 50 minutes. During these sessions we will ask you to complete some questionnaires for us to monitor your progress.

Due to the short term nature of the work Counsellors in the service are unable to work on childhood abuse; developmental issues; or complex mental health problems. 

How do I access this?

To ensure you access the right treatment the team will arrange an assessment screening appointment with you these usually take around 45 minutes and they are completed over the phone, to self-refer call 0300 302 13 13.