Introduction to the types of therapies and support offered

What are talking therapies?

The therapies offered by the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service are the same ones used to help people who have suffered trauma all over the world. We see adults, children, couples and families. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and we will work with you to find the best kind of support for you. This might include culturally-sensitive support.

Culturally adapted therapy may include offering you therapy or support in your native language, meeting with an NHS worker from a similar background or looking at your difficulties in the context of your faith and culture, among other things.

What happens when I get in touch with the service?

You, your child and / or family can find help from our service by completing a referral form on our website. If you prefer you can talk to one of our staff by calling 020 8637 6279 or ask your GP to refer you.

First meeting

When you first get in touch, we will talk to you about the kind of problems you are having and the types of therapies that may be best for your needs. In this conversation, there are no right or wrong answers; it’s all about you.

You do not have to start a ‘talking therapy’ if you do not want to, or if you don’t feel ready. You can come back to us at any time.

Types of therapies

Trauma focused therapies are effective treatments for the emotional distress following a traumatic event.

They won’t make you forget your memories, but they make the memories feel less painful and you have more control when you think about them.

Occupational therapists (OT) focus on improving your health and wellbeing through participation in the activities of everyday life. This includes how you look after yourself, your daily routine, productivity and leisure.

Depending on your own goals and current needs, OT support can include helping with identifying interests, working on goals, finding ways to develop new skills and how to build connections with others. The OT may recommend adaptations to your environment or suggest different ways of doing things and can offer support and advice on managing both your mental health and physical health through one to one or group settings.

This kind of CBT was designed specifically for PTSD. You will learn ways of coping with difficult symptoms then your therapist will help you to process your painful memories.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing involves making side to side eye movements while talking through the traumatic event. This is known to reduce the distress linked to the event and make upsetting images less intense. You remain in control and fully alert. This is not a kind of hypnosis.

Narrative Exposure Therapy may be helpful for you if you’ve experienced a lot of traumatic events in your life. Your therapist will help you to create a timeline of events in your life. The therapist will write a detailed account of all you describe, and read through your entire story at the end of therapy. Many people say this helps them better understand themselves in relation to what’s happened to them.

CBT is an effective treatment for anxiety and low mood /depression. In CBT there is a focus on your thoughts and actions and the way they affect your mood. You and your therapist will work together to develop strategies to better manage difficulties and promote wellbeing. Sometimes people have a short course of CBT to enhance their ability to cope. Other people may need a longer course of CBT for difficulties such as low self-esteem, social anxiety or health anxiety. CBT can also be helpful for managing long term health conditions.

Arts psychotherapies describe different types of creative therapies. These include music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy and dance movement psychotherapy. These therapies can help you to express feelings that you may find hard to put into words. You might have sessions alone with your therapist or in a group with other people.

Our lives often change because of trauma, and therapists specialising in counselling or psychotherapy can help us to reflect on our lives, on what we have learnt and the things we can do to move forward.

Although grief is a normal response to losing a loved one, it can feel very difficult, particularly if it lingers for a long time. Bereavement counselling will give you a safe space to talk about your loss and the different emotions you may be feeling. Working through your grief in this way can help it to become less intense and overwhelming.

The Family and Couples Therapy Team are there to offer you and your family a chance to come together, understand one another and find different ways to communicate and help each other

explore strengths and resources and how these can be used during difficult times. 

We offer a safe and private space for couples/families to talk about difficulties that might be experienced together.

Everyone’s views in the family are important and are given a space to be heard.

We might explore:

  • How family life is going right now – what’s working well and what’s tricky
  • Sadness, worry or stress in the family
  • Coping with trauma or grief together
  • How we might strengthen our relationships
  • How to help one another in times of difficulties

We don’t always work with whole family and can offer support to: individuals, children and young people, couples and sibling groups.

Workshops help you to learn about particular difficulties and ways of coping with them; you only share as much about yourself as you want to. Some people find it helpful to hear from other people who have experienced the same kinds of struggles. It can sometimes be useful to share experiences and learn from others who have been through similar situations.

Group therapy can take different forms and may not always be about talking. It might also involve community groups doing activities that help people to support each other.

As with all our other therapies, we offer culturally adapted group workshops / activities.

All of the talking therapies mentioned on this page can be used with children and young people. Children’s therapists will often use toys, games, and other creative materials to engage children and parents may also be involved in therapy sessions, where appropriate.   

Frequently asked questions

We have therapists who speak a number of languages and we also offer therapy using confidential interpreters in all languages including British Sign Language. Having an interpreter does not reduce the effectiveness of the therapy.

We understand how important the relationship between you and the therapist is. Sometimes a therapist will suggest another therapist for you, but you can tell your therapist you want to change; they will not take it personally and can talk to you about the options.

The overwhelming majority of feedback has been very positive – most people are finding therapy

and therapists very helpful. But we want to hear about it from you, so that we can continue to improve our service.

People can access different therapies at different times, to suit their needs. Sometimes someone starts therapy then decides they need to take a break or they might need a different approach.

Only if you tell them! The service is wholly confidential to you.

If you have concern about another adult – a neighbour, friend or other family member – please get in touch so we can talk through the options.

At the beginning of therapy, we discuss what therapy involves and how it can help, and we support individuals and families to develop clear and realistic goals. We help people to consider whether they have the time to commit to regular therapy sessions and help problem-solve any obstacles. We jointly agree how often and for how long we will work together.  During therapy, your therapist will work with you to support you with your goals, working at your own pace.