What to expect

Initial assessment (80 minutes)

Your first appointment will be an opportunity for your therapist to learn about the history of your difficulties, some details about your current circumstances, and your goals and expectations for therapy.  This appointment will involve lots of questions, so that your therapist can develop a detailed understanding of your problems and how best to help you to resolve them.  It will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about treatment options, and decide what sort of therapy is best for you.

To help prepare, we ask that you to complete the following questionnaire before your first appointment with us:

Client details form

Occasionally a second appointment may be required in order to complete the assessment, depending on the duration and severity of your difficulties.  Assessments can take place in any of our locations in North West London or Hertfordshire (Harrow, Berkhamsted, Watford or Borehamwood)


Regular therapy sessions (30 minutes – 50 minutes each)

Whatever the type of therapy you have, at each session, you will be asked to complete outcome measures so that you and your therapist can track your weekly progress during treatment. Sessions will involve discussing your agreed main difficulties and working on making positive changes. Some therapies such as CBT involve written exercises or ‘homework’ between the sessions, others (e.g. counselling) may not.  However, in all therapies, you need to be willing to be actively looking for ways to make constructive changes.

When concluding therapy, you and your therapist will discuss feelings about therapy ending and the progress you have made during the treatment. Given that all of the therapies we offer are focused and time limited treatments, it is unlikely that you will have addressed all your difficulties during therapy, and thus the final sessions will often include thinking about how you can build on the understandings you have gained and changes you have made to further your progress towards recovery.

Changing Minds offers only evidence-based psychological interventions, in line with guidance from the National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness (NICE). The length of your treatment will be negotiated with you at the end of your assessment appointment, but as a guide we would suggest an initial block of 6-8 sessions, with a maximum of 20 sessions for most problems.  For individual therapy/counselling the session length is 50 minutes, and for guided self help the duration of the sessions will be 30 minutes.  We will always ensure that you receive the therapy that is best suited for your particular difficulties – for example, if you suffer with low mood, this may be starting with some brief sessions of guided self help focussing on helping you become more active, followed by a limited number of face to face sessions targeting your negative thoughts and their impact on your mood and behaviour.

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