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Clear Water

What to expect


You may have done your research and still have doubts about therapy in general or if therapy with Synergy Psychotherapy is the right fit for you; this is not unusual and is why Synergy Psychotherapy offers a free, 20-minute, telephone consultation. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have and get a feel as to whether Synergy Psychotherapy is the right fit for you, following which there is no obligation to book an appointment.

To prepare for a consultation appointment it might be helpful to consider what you want to know about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and/or your psychotherapist and perhaps write down any questions to refer to during the call. Some of the questions you have may be answered within the information on the website. 


Please note that whilst it is understandable that you may want to get some idea of what the difficulty is that you’re experiencing and/or find out whether CBT is likely to be helpful to you this is the purpose of an assessment appointment as there are numerous bits of information and factors to take in to account to determine this, which could not be covered in the depth required, within the consultation. The consultation is an opportunity to determine if you would like to move forward and book an assessment appointment with Synergy Psychotherapy.  

Book a consultation



The purpose of an initial assessment is to:

  • Establish a shared understanding of your difficulties and identify what you want to work on, for example, depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Define your expectations of therapy and what you would like to achieve.

  • Thoroughly consider a number of factors to determine the suitability and timing of psychological therapy - specifically CBT with Synergy Psychotherapy - to meet your needs.

  • Start to establish a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship as the foundation for any future sessions.

  • Put a plan in place regarding how you want to move forwards:

    • To learn more about the CBT approach if it's felt it may be helpful to you.

    • To access the information you need and answer any questions you have; to enable you to make an informed decision about if you want to start CBT with Synergy Psychotherapy, e.g. the expected timescale of therapy.

    • To access tailored information on other services and/or treatments, therapies or resources if these are felt to be more appropriate for you than CBT with Synergy Psychotherapy.

    • To link in with your GP regarding your identified difficulties and treatment options (and plan if known and agreed at the time).

Attend an assessment



There are three phases of therapy in CBT, all of which are supported by homework.

1. Assessment phase

The initial assessment is built on and involves in-session exercises and structured discussion of your difficulties with a focus on learning more about them. This is supported by homework tasks, for example, you may be asked to keep a record of your difficulties. The aims of the assessment phase are to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of your difficulties and what's keeping them going.

  • Develop a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship as the foundation on which to move in to the treatment phase.

  • Consolidate and define a shared understanding of your difficulties and their impact on your life.

  • Set goals to determine how you will know that your therapy has been helpful, on completion.

  • Draw out an individualised CBT treatment map; this will show what's keeping your difficulties going and be used to guide the treatment phase.

  • Problem solve any barriers to therapy and determine if moving in to the treatment phase is likely to be beneficial, at that time.


2. Treatment phase

CBT sessions are a learning environment and are structured with the use of agendas to ensure you can make the most of your therapy. Homework is reviewed to help you to identify your learning. Much of the treatment involves completing exercises in collaboration with your therapist, some of which are written or drawn and some of which can be active; this is very different to some other therapeutic approaches in which you may use the session just to talk, without structure. Further homework tasks are agreed at the end of sessions. The aims of the treatment phase are to develop and apply knowledge of your difficulties to address what is keeping them going; this is done by testing out and confronting your fears and engaging with your emotions rather than avoiding them, in a safe and supportive environment.


3. Relapse prevention

One of the main aims of CBT is to teach you to become your own therapist. This is so that you can apply what you have learnt in your sessions, to stay well once you've achieved recovery and to deal with any setbacks in future. It's also important to have time to work on ending your therapy and the therapeutic relationship you've built with your therapist which can bring up difficult emotions for many people.

Start your therapy

Page last updated: 10/02/2024. All information correct at time of update but is liable to change; to ensure information is correct at time of use visit the organisation website or contact the organisation directly. Synergy Psychotherapy is not responsible for the content of any external sites; providing details of such sites should not be seen as endorsement.

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