Available therapies

1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems each year.

Have you found yourself struggling? Are your worries getting to you or stress at work? Are you feeling low or are you experiencing high levels of anxiety? Have you been diagnosed with a particular mental health concern; OCD, social anxiety, PTSD? We can help.

You don’t have to have been diagnosed to access our service. We are proud to be able to support people in different positions, experiencing different problems at different levels.

We can offer you easy access to the support you feel is most appropriate for you through our on campus clinic. We are fortunate to be able to offer such a wide variety of therapies that we really can help you choose a therapy approach that fits for you. If you are an individual in need of support or a professional wishing to refer someone in to these services please see contact details below.

What is Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy?

Integrative counselling and psychotherapy is a type of talking therapy that recognises that people are diverse and complex, so that it may be helpful for a therapist to draw on more than one counselling approach, in order to meet the individual needs of each client.

Research evidence suggests that it is primarily the relationship formed between therapist and client that has the most positive influence on whether having therapy is successful. So, a strong emphasis is placed on building a trusting therapeutic relationship with you, in order to have a firm foundation for the work you do together.

Integrative therapists can choose to draw on theory and therapeutic techniques from the three main branches of counselling: the humanistic school (Person-Centred, Gestalt and Existential ways of working); Relational Psychodynamics; and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness. Once you and your therapist have had a chance to understand the issues that have brought you to counselling, he or she will discuss with you how you might work together to address your concerns.

How does it work?

Your therapist is not there to offer you a diagnosis or to tell you what to do. Their role is to help you explore and make sense of the challenges you face. This may involve working with difficult emotions, as well as identifying and addressing unhelpful thinking and behaviour patterns that might be now  adding to feelings of unhappiness.  You and the therapist will work together towards finding new ways of making your life more fulfilling.   Sometimes this involves fine-tuning existing coping strategies or learning new ones; accepting things that you can’t change and addressing issues of self-esteem and self-confidence.  

What can Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy be used for?






Emotional distress and general counselling

Health adjustment problems

Relationship problems


Stress & work related issues


What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that has been proven to help with a wide range of difficulties. CBT looks at our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these are linked; the way we feel is affected by the way we think and behave. Problems are broken down into smaller parts so that we can disrupt the negative cycles we find ourselves stuck in. This means we can start to break things down and understand what can sometimes feel like overwhelming problems or emotions. More specifically, the therpaist and client work together in changing behaviours, or thinking patterns, or both.


How does it work?

CBT helps you to learn techniques to better manage your thoughts and behaviour in order to reduce the intensity of the emotions experienced, and therefore reduce the distressing physical symptoms. CBT is mainly concerned with how you think and act in the present moment. Although CBT usually focuses on the here and now it doesnt rule out the past, sometimes talking about the past can help us to understand some of the our current patterns in our thinking and behaviour.

You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties, you will be encouraged to consider what you would like to achieve from therapy and how you would like things to be different. These form the goals that the sessions will focus on, meaning the therpay is designed to help you to begin to achieve your goals. CBT involves a collaborative approach, it is not a quick fix and your therapist will not tell you what to do. The tools learned are applicable to every day situations so that you can continue to make progress even when you have completed sessions with your therapist.

Who can benefit from it?

Research has shown that CBT is effective in working with a number of difficulties, including:

Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and PTSD)




Chronic pain

Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis

Sleep difficulties

Anger management

CBT is recommended by the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines for a number of difficulties based on research demonstrating the effectiveness of CBT. The NICE guidelines produce independent evidence based guidance for the NHS on how to treat certain health conditions.

What can I expect from a CBT session?

CBT is offered in individual sessions. Your therapist will encourage you to talk about your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Don't worry if you find it hard to open up about your feelings, your therapist will help you to gain more confidence and comfort with this. During the sessions you will work with your therapist in a collaborative way, planning the session content together in order to begin working towards the goals you have identified. The therapeutic relationship is important within CBT so your therapist will spend some time building this with you, your therapist will not tell you what to do but instead will help you to decide what difficulties you would like to work on in order to improve your situation.


Children and Young Persons' Counselling


What is Children and Young Persons' Counselling?

Counsellors who work with young people have mostly completed a specialist training in working with this client group in addition to their own initial training. They come from a variety of modalities which include verbal therapies and also art psychotherapy and music therapy, but have been taught the Geldard and Geldard Proactive model which is a way of working with young people in three stages: joining, assessing and addressing. This model encompasses adolescent communication skills, creative and symbolic strategies and is rooted in existentialist and social constructionist philosophy. They have an in depth understanding of child and adolescent development as well as a range of specific legal, ethical and mental health issues and ensure that they offer a reparative relationship, based in attachment and neuroscientific theories at the core of their work.


How does it work?

Counselling with young people can happen over a number of sessions or even in one session, depending upon the young client’s needs and differs from similar interventions with adults. With adolescents, the therapist will use his or her inner adolescent and attune, both physically and emotionally with the client, paralleling adolescent communication styles. This ensures that the client feels heard and acknowledged and feels able to build a trusting relationship with the therapist. Young people generally need a far more proactive way of working and do not often work in a linear fashion but more cyclically. The counsellor needs to be able to use a lot of energy and skills to enable the client to communicate their story and feelings. This entails offering a variety of creative media for use in the session which includes sand trays, puppets, miniatures, clay and other art and craft materials. The counsellor will work with the presenting issues and with those which come out of the assessment stage of the process, ensuring that all work is safely held within an ethical and confidential framework. All counselling is subject to the clinic’s child protection procedures.


What can Children and Young Persons' Counselling be used for?

Therapy with this age group varies enormously. Most adolescents go through a time of great change and in an existential framework, this is normal behaviour and is held by family and peers. However, for some young people, their anxieties are such that they need someone to hear them or work with them more intensively or confidentially. In some cases a client needs his or her story witnessed and in others, the client may have specific worries or anxieties that needs addressing. These commonly include: family issues, peer relationships, social anxiety, eating issues, relationship problems, anxieties over school and/or exams, transitions, self harming, gender and sexuality issues and identity issues.


What can I expect from a therapy session?

Your counsellor or therapist will use his or her skills to make you feel welcome and heard and will use the first session to agree a confidential contract with you and find out a bit about what brings you to counselling. The counsellor will meet you in a room which has a variety of resources, which can include art materials, musical instruments, sandtrays and other craft materials. You will be able to talk to your counsellor about what is troubling you and also to use the resources if you find this easier. However there is no expectation that you will use anything else if this doesn’t feel comfortable. The counsellor will listen and observe what is going on for you and help you to find your own way forward. He/she can also signpost you to other useful organisations if you have specific needs.


What is art psychotherapy?

Art psychotherapy is a psychological therapy available to those who may find verbal therapy and expression difficult to access or not enough. Arts-based materials, tools and resources are used in this therapeutic approach as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address issues relating to emotional, psychological and physical health and well-being. Art psychotherapy is provided in groups or individually, depending on clients' needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions are often enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in creativity and art making.

How does it work?

Art psychotherapists combine a range of psychotherapeutic interventions with art making, creative tools and creative thinking, which enable clients to effect change and growth. By using art materials and creative tools, clients are able to gain insight and resolve difficulties. Artwork and images can provide a means of expression and communication (with oneself or others) when words are difficult or impossible; they can also become a focus for discussion, exploration and self-evaluation.

Art psychotherapy differs from other psychological therapies in that it is a three way process between the client, the therapist & the image or artefact. It can evoke a powerful process; buried or repressed feelings can be brought to the surface quickly and easily. Art making can also become a powerful diary of what was experienced in therapy, reminding the client and therapist of any processes undertaken, recurrent themes & patterns throughout therapy. Art psychotherapy is adaptable & democratic: most people are capable of being creative and making art whatever their emotional, intellectual, physical or linguistic capabilities are.

What can art psychotherapy be used for?

Art psychotherapists work with children, young people, adults and the elderly and work in a diverse range of practice settings. Clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These may include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses. Art psychotherapy has more recently developed a broad range of client-centred approaches such as psycho-educational, mindfulness and mentalization-based treatments, compassion-focussed and cognitive analytic techniques and socially engaged practice. 

Clients who benefit from art psychotherapy may include:

§  Those who are isolated & difficult to engage.

§  Those who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, or are unable/unwilling to do so.

§  Those who use verbal expression to dissociate from emotional processes.

§  Those who are highly articulate, who may use words as a form of defence against feelings & true communication.

§  Those who experience their emotions as overwhelming or chaotic & struggle to express their feelings appropriately.

§  Those who lack motivation or are ambivalent about engaging in psychological therapies and treatment.

§  Those who have history of abuse, trauma, PTSD symptoms, somatisation, learning disabilities, physical, emotional & psychological disorders & sensory impairments.

§  Those who self-harm;  Art psychotherapists can provide an alternative, safer means of acting out, e.g. scraping, tearing, cutting materials, or through destruction of images and artwork in art psychotherapy sessions, enabling symbol formation.


What can I expect from an art psychotherapy session?

Art psychotherapy offers a chance to experiment with art materials in a creative and spontaneous way. The artwork can then be used as a way of making sense of what is happening in your life. The art psychotherapist will not teach art but will support you in using materials in your own way and at your own pace. You might have an assessment in art psychotherapy to begin with to determine if it is a suitable form of treatment for you. These initial sessions can help you to decide whether Art psychotherapy is going to be helpful for you. You might then receive 1:1 or group therapy leading to long term or time-limited treatment.

An individual art psychotherapy session usually lasts up to one hour, once a week. Group sessions can sometimes be longer than one hour. The sessions will take place in a room that is either dedicated to art psychotherapy or space that has been adapted for the session. A variety of art materials will be available with space to make artwork, somewhere comfortable to talk to the art psychotherapist, and with confidential storage for anything you make during therapy sessions.

Clients are encouraged to make any kind of art, including painting, drawing or making sculptures. Found images and objects and non-traditional materials can often be used. Some art psychotherapists use a directive approach by offering themes or suggestions, whilst others take a non-directive approach which is client led. The clinical setting & client’s capacity to use the materials may determine the approach. There may be times when no image is made, meaning that sessions may consist of only image making, only talking or both.


You can find out more about art psychotherapy on the BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) website: www.baat.org


What is Music Therapy?

In music therapy, people work with a wide range of accessible instruments and their voices to create music that reflects their emotional and physical condition.  This enables them to build connections with themselves and others musically.  Talking about the music and the personal challenges they are facing is also part of a session.  No musical knowledge is needed to access music therapy.

How does it work?

The music therapist supports the client by co-creating a bespoke combination of improvised or pre-composed music. Using music often helps people access difficult feelings when it can be difficult to articulate these in words.  Talking about the music helps process feelings that have been brought up by the music.

 What can Music Therapy  be used for?

Music Therapy is useful for those with a variety of issues, such as anxiety, depression, bereavement issues, PTSD and OCD.  It can be used with children and young people, as well as with adults.

What can I expect from a music therapy session?

A session will consist of some form of music-making, although this is flexible depending on your needs and wishes.   Song-writing, drumming, improvisation and talking could all play a part in music therapy.  In each case, though, the therapist will tailor their approach to your needs in order to meet the goals you want to achieve through therapy.

Guided Imagery and Music

What is Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)?

GIM is a form of music psychotherapy involving listening to specially selected music, creating images and verbal discussion with the therapist

How does it work?

The client will listen to music in a relaxed state while talking to the therapist, or may listen in silence.  Following the listening, there is the opportunity of creating an image and then discussing what has arisen with the therapist. The listening, followed by drawing and then talking enables the client to fully process the difficulties they are experiencing and begin to work through their issues.

What can GIM be used for?

Anxiety, depression, life changes, PTSD, bereavement issues.  The therapy is only suitable for adults.

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is a way of helping children express their feelings and make sense of difficult life experiences; using play as the main communication within a trusting relationship which is established between the child and their Play Therapist.

How does it work?

Adults use language to communicate their feelings and experiences, however, children communicate through play, using toys and creative media as their words.  The child is able to go at their own pace and explore their own agenda, within the safety of a therapeutic relationship.  The Play Therapist tracks and reflects the child’s play in order to help them make sense of their world and in order to gain understanding of their own feelings and thoughts.

 What can Play Therapy be used for?

Play Therapists work with children and their families who are facing challenges, or who have had difficult life experiences. This may include children who are anxious or withdrawn; who may be having difficulties at home or at school; who have experienced the loss of a loved one, as well as those who have experienced neglect or trauma.

 What can I expect from a Play Therapy session?

The child’s session will take place in a Play Room equipped with a range of toys and resources.  The child will be invited to choose what they wish to play with and they can invite the Play Therapist to join with their playing if they wish. As the therapeutic relationship develops the therapist may introduce different ideas and activities to support the child’s self-awareness, understanding and healing.