FAQs about psychological therapy2021-08-20T10:26:30+00:00

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a specific question not answered here, then please get in touch.

What is CBT?2021-05-27T07:28:06+00:00

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) predominantly focuses on the present moment and aims to help you identify any current unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours. CBT understands that our thoughts, behaviours and emotions are all connected and interlinked and aims to teach you ways of challenging unhelpful thinking patterns and introducing helpful coping behaviours to improve the way that you feel. CBT is a practical form of therapy and therefore requires you to practice tools and techniques between your therapy sessions.

Within each session of CBT, you and your therapist will agree on an agenda of what you would like to cover in the session. The general format of a session would involve a check-in with your mood over the past week, a look at your mood-monitoring questionnaires, a review of your in-between session tasks and setting a new task to practise over the following week. Your therapist will regularly review how you are finding the sessions so that they can adapt the sessions to your needs.

Do I have to pay?2021-05-27T07:29:25+00:00

If you are registered with a qualifying GP Surgery in Surrey and over 17 years old then all your therapy is free to you. Centre for Psychology is paid by your local NHS Commissioning Group.

If you do not qualify we are still able to provide you with therapy. There are many reasons that you may wish to self-fund your therapy please contact us for our current fee structure.

If you live in England there are other NHS-funded services providing free therapy. Use the following link to find yours:


English isn’t my first language?2021-05-27T07:36:32+00:00

If English is not your first language this does not mean that you cannot access our service. Our therapists are trained to work with clients using an interpreter which we will arrange for you.  Please translate this page to another language by using the button (bottom left) on any page.

What if I am under 17?2021-05-27T07:37:19+00:00

We do not provide support for people under the age of 17. If you are under 17 and feel you would benefit from psychological support we would encourage you to book an appointment with your GP who can refer you to the appropriate services.

Are appointments available near me?2021-05-27T07:38:22+00:00

We are a Surrey-wide service and will always aim to offer you an appointment in a location that is accessible to you, however, you may be required to travel a short distance. The location offered to you will take into account the type of support you are accessing, your availability, and therapist availability.

As a way of increasing availability Centre for Psychology also offers telephone and video sessions which are often more convenient to attend. You will still receive the materials you need either by post or via the internet.

When do you offer appointments?2021-05-27T07:39:16+00:00

We predominantly offer appointments from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. We are unable to offer individual appointments at the weekend. We do offer evening courses from 6pm-8pm including: Mindfulness and Stress Management, Anxiety and Depression Management, and our Sleep Clinic.

Can I have someone attend my appointment with me?2021-05-27T07:40:02+00:00

To maintain confidentiality we would usually recommend that you attend your sessions individually, however, if you require someone to attend your sessions with you then please let us know when your initial appointment is booked so that your therapist can be informed.

We do not have creche facilities so please arrange appropriate childcare for your sessions.

I don’t know whether I need CBT or Counselling?2021-05-27T07:40:44+00:00

That’s okay, our therapists are trained to work with you at your telephone assessment to decide on what is the most appropriate form of therapy for your current difficulties.

How many sessions will I receive and what if I need more?2021-05-27T07:41:39+00:00

Psychological therapy is not like taking physical medication. We all respond differently to psychological therapy. Guidance suggests that attending six sessions of CBT is a good starting point.  We ask that you attend your pre-booked sessions, engage with the out-of-session tasks and show improvement on the psychological measures. In return, we will continue to work with you.

Occasionally we may recommend that your GP refers you to a different service. If this happens your therapist will talk about the reasons for such a referral.

Are my details kept confidential?2021-05-27T07:42:35+00:00

Your information will always be kept confidential unless we are concerned about your safety or the safety of someone around you or there are safeguarding concerns. If these circumstances occur then we have a duty of care to share this information with other organisations. Our confidentiality policy will be explained to you when you attend your initial telephone assessment and we will gain your consent to contact you via phone, email, text and post before doing so.

Routinely your GP will receive notification that you are being seen by ourselves and told when you are discharged from our service. On request, you can opt-out of this process. We would advise that you do not as your healthcare monitoring is undertaken by your GP.

In order to receive payment from your NHS Commissioning Group, we need to identify that we have seen you. This process does not use any personally identifiable details.


How long will I wait for an assessment?2021-05-27T07:43:48+00:00

Our aim is to offer you an assessment within 10 working days of your referral to our service. Your assessment will usually be over the telephone. During your assessment, the therapist will provide you with the opportunity to explain why you have referred yourself to the service and what you would like support with. Your therapist will also require you to answer a series of questions about your current thoughts, behaviours, physical symptoms, and emotions. The therapist will work with you to discuss a treatment plan should our service be suitable for you. If our service is not the most suitable service for you, the therapist will discuss alternative services to signpost you to.

Should you be unable to attend a telephone assessment we can arrange for you to attend a face-to-face assessment. This may however be a longer wait based on therapist availability.

How long will I wait for an initial treatment appointment?2023-08-15T14:50:27+00:00

Following your assessment, we aim to offer an initial treatment session within 6 working weeks. Our assistant psychologists work daily on our waiting lists and will contact you by telephone when an appointment becomes available that matches your availability. You are likely to be seen sooner if you are flexible on your appointment time/location. Please let us know if you are able to accept a ‘short notice’ appointment.

It is always helpful to keep us updated about your personal circumstances using the contact details you have been given.

How do I get psychological therapy?2021-05-27T07:45:15+00:00

You can refer yourself by telephone or email. We also accept referrals that come to us from your GP and other external organisations that know your needs. One of our Assistant Psychologists will guide you through the process.

What is expected from me?2021-05-27T07:46:31+00:00

We expect that you attend your planned appointments and let us know in advance if you cannot make a session. Your treatment will be most effective if you attend regular sessions.

CBT additionally requires you to engage with in-between session tasks to practise the tools and techniques which you have covered with your therapist. Generally, the people who put in the most time and effort outside of the sessions are those who see the most improvement in mood and anxiety levels.

What should I expect from my therapist?2021-05-27T07:47:31+00:00

All our therapists at Centre for Psychology have the appropriate training and are members of the appropriate accreditation boards to deliver your therapy. Our therapists offer evidence-based treatments in line with the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

On a more personal level, our therapists will work with you in a non-judgemental way and will aim to adapt therapy for your personal needs and style.

Why do I need to complete questionnaires for each therapy session?2021-05-27T07:48:15+00:00

The questionnaires that we will ask you to complete allow you and your therapist to monitor and track your progress throughout your treatment. The questionnaires can highlight any difficulties and can help inform your treatment. You should think about these questionnaires in the same way as your GP asks you to undertake scans and blood tests for your physical health. They have been developed using validated research methods and provide technical information to your therapist.

By completing your questionnaires you also help monitor the psychological health of the nation as we are required to submit data to NHS Digital. However, your individual scores are anonymised so your identity is never known but you are helping to promote psychological well-being for everyone.

What should I do if I cannot attend my appointment?2021-05-27T07:48:58+00:00

As a service we like to keep our waiting lists as short as possible, therefore we require you to attend all your sessions and we request that you let us know in advance if you are unable to attend an appointment so that your slot can be offered to another client. If you do not attend your appointment and we do not hear from you on that day you may be discharged from our service back to the care of your GP. We do understand that you may have to cancel an appointment due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., illness) but please let us know.

Do you train therapists?2021-05-27T07:50:05+00:00

Yes, we are funded by Health Education England to train the next generation of therapists. It is important to ensure that trained staff are available to meet the needs of future clients. If you are seen by one of our trainee therapists you can be confident that their practice is highly supervised and that you are receiving the most advanced informed therapy available. Currently, we are working in partnership with the University of Surrey to train staff.

What are the benefits of paying for my own therapy?2021-05-27T07:50:48+00:00

If you are entitled to free therapy then there are no significant benefits.

If you cannot take advantage of free therapy then you benefit from receiving therapy from highly qualified staff.

What if I want to complain?2021-05-27T07:52:04+00:00

We aim to provide our service in a professional and timely manner. However, sometimes we do not manage to get everything right. When we do not get things right we are happy to be told so that we can think about improvements to the way we work. Our complaints policy is simple and you can request a copy by emailing:


Do you offer therapeutic approaches other than CBT?2021-05-27T07:52:57+00:00

Yes, we do. For our NHS provision, we rely on the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance which specifies CBT as the therapy of choice in the first instance. However, we also offer a wider range of psychological therapies. Contact us for further information.

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