PUBLIC RELATIONS HOLDSWORTH ASSOCIATES

New talking therapy service now available in Norfolk called PsychologyOnline

As winter drags on it is not uncommon to feel down – but if these negative feelings do not go away, you find you are struggling to cope or are prevented from leading a normal life, you may need to make some changes. A new approach to talking therapy is being trialled in Norfolk that will make it easier for people to get the support they need, when they need it.

PsychologyOnlinePatrick Wymbs, clinical service lead for central Norfolk’s Wellbeing Service, says that a new type of therapy provided by PsychologyOnline, will allow people to access treatment from their home using the internet, at a time that suits them.

“The Wellbeing Service aims to support people in making changes in their lives, to manage levels of stress as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. We are providing a range of options from group courses to one-to-one therapy.

“Many people in rural parts of Norfolk find it difficult to get to appointments. Additionally, if you are working or have young children taking time out during the busy day can awkward.

“The internet is an integral part of people’s lives and we believe that offering online therapy is an important part of the future. Including PsychologyOnline in our portfolio of services will offer clients greater choice and flexibility in accessing support.”

Psychotherapist Sarah Bateup, the clinical lead at PsychologyOnline, says that depression and anxiety are treatable with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), often in less than six sessions of therapy.

She adds: “When people are upset or under stress it affects the way they view the world. CBT practitioners work alongside the person to help them to see for themselves the link between negative thoughts and mood. This empowers people to gain control over their negative emotions and provides mechanisms for coping.

“Our brains are used to learning through reading and writing, which is why using instant messaging for CBT is so effective. It creates an opportunity for the person to reflect on situations as they are written down and this helps get to the root of the problem more quickly. It brings about ‘light-bulb’-type breakthroughs when you can see how to change to make things better.”

The Wellbeing Service is free and open to anyone aged 16 years and over in Norfolk and Waveney. People can be referred by their GP or can self-refer online by visiting www.readytochange.org.uk or telephoning 0300 123 1503.

Once assessed, patients will discuss the best therapy option for their needs with a practitioner. Those offered PsychologyOnline will be emailed a unique access code, and therapy can begin within 24 hours of activation. All the client needs is access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, an internet connection and a quiet space.

Recovery rates for NHS patients who have already worked with PsychologyOnline stand at more than 60%, with individuals needing 40% fewer sessions than would have been expected with traditional therapies. More than half those using PsychologyOnline choose to have their appointments in the early evening.

For more information about PsychologyOnline, please visit: www.psychologyonline.co.uk.

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