If you are thinking of psychological treatment there are a few things that you should consider and steps to take before knowing this is the best option for you. We have compiled a list of questions to help you through the steps you should address so that you can make the right decision.
Have you consulted with your family doctor and discussed your symptoms openly?
If your answer is no, then you should first see your doctor in order to rule-out any medical cause for your problem. Underlying physical conditions can be the cause of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Your doctor may be able to refer you for psychological treatment if this is available and seems appropriate.
Have you an idea of what your problem might be?
There are many different types of psychological problem. It is useful to have an idea of the nature of your problem. This will help you find out more about it so that you may be able to help yourself and you will be able to ask potential therapists how much experience they have in treating it. You may find a therapist specializing in a particular disorder. Take a look at our section on ‘Identifying psychological problems• to see if this helps you. You might then want to find out more by reading our ‘fact sheets.
Have you tried to help yourself?
It is often possible to help yourself. The first thing you can do is try to increase your activity levels and talk to your family about your concerns. The next thing is to find some self-help materials that can suggest ways of changing unhelpful thought patterns and feelings.
Have you found a suitable therapist?
Many people will choose therapy and it becomes necessary to find a good therapist. Your doctor may be able to refer you for therapy in the NHS, in which case it is most likely that your therapist will be accredited by a professional body. If you are seeking a private therapist you should always choose a therapist who is accredited by a reputable professional body or organization.
One way to find a therapist is to consult the register of Chartered Clinical Psychologists distributed by the British Psychological Society. This is available in some libraries in the UK. Alternatively you could look at the BPS website (www.bps.org.uk). Another option is to look for a therapist accredited by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, you can find a therapist via there website (www.babcp.com). There are other voluntary or charitable organizations that also provide help and support such as the National Phobic’s Society in the UK.
- Have you found the best treatment? The most widely recommended and supported treatment is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). If you are suffering form an anxiety disorder or depression this is the treatment you should be looking for first. Not all accredited therapist’s practice this type of treatment and even the one’s that do differ in their level of CBT training and expertise. If your doctor is referring you for NHS-based treatment ask to be referred specifically for CBT. If you are seeking private treatment you should ask potential therapists if they have a CBT diploma and are accredited by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. Also ask how much experience they have in treating your particular symptoms.
Finding an MCT Therapist
Metacognititve Therapy is a skilled and complex treatment that requires therapist training to ensure competency in its delivery and to maximise effectiveness. MCTI runs training programs based on formal criteria and provides accreditation of therapists who have met minimal training standards. We recommend that you find a therapist who has achieved the MCTI level 1 Diploma as a minimum. We are currently compiling a contact list of such therapists that will be available via this website. Because MCT is a new and developing treatment there are a small number of therapists trained at this time. MCT consumers from different countries have informed us that they have had significant success with MCT in treating their problems when they have worked with a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and together worked from the treatment manual: Wells A (2009), Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression, New York Guilford Press. This manual is also available in the following langauge versions: German, Norwegian, Italian.