Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service

Talking Therapies

Our high intensity treatment is delivered by our Talking Therapies service. The team are all fully qualified therapists and we occasionally provide training placements for accredited courses.

The Talking Therapies service offer evidence based psychological therapies for common mental health problems. Talking Therapy approaches have become increasingly effective at helping people cope with and recover from depression and low mood, panic disorders, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.

We always start with a discussion to review what approach will be most helpful and we will always suggest that you access the least intensive support first. If this support isn't enough to help you feel better, you may be offered some additional therapy which may take the form of a longer group or some one to one support.


other Support for Adults:

Referral Form

Refer yourself for any support from the Adult Wellbeing Service by completing this online form:

group work

We offer a range of groups and deliver weekly two hour sessions over the course of six to eight weeks. Some courses can be longer (MBCT for example).

+ Behavioural Activation

Several different treatments for depression have been developed. One effective treatment is called 'behavioural activation'. With your therapists you will work toward breaking the cycle of depression by engaging in activities that are meaningful to you. You will not just increase your activity.

The Wellbeing Service offers a group called Active Choices, based on behavioural activation. The group will help you to identify actions in your life that you have stopped engaging in since you became depressed but wish to become involved in again; actions that you have taken to withdraw from the world and the others around you; and the major situations in your life that you would like to change.

The treatment can help you to overcome problems in your life. You will learn how to monitor your life, to look at your daily activities like a rich tapestry. You will learn how certain feelings are connected to certain activities. You will learn how to increase activities that make you feel better.

The group will teach you how to select activities, how to recognise traps that inhibit meaningful activity, and how to incorporate new activities into your daily routines so that they become new habits that lead to improvements in the quality of your life. Taking the first step and coming to the group has been your first guided activity. Further steps may be easier than you imagine.

+ Low Self-Esteem

The course will help you to think about the impact Low Self Esteem can have and better understand the link between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. You will be supported to map out a personal ‘formulation’ which will help you to develop an understanding of how the problem developed while keeping a focus on what is maintaining feelings of anxiety and/or low mood in the here and now.

You will practice noticing the unhelpful thinking and behaviour which can maintain feelings of anxiety and/or low mood. You will then be expected to test out making changes in these areas by engaging in in-between session homework tasks, such as practicing noticing your triggers, making use of assertive communication or acknowledging your personal positive qualities.

During the final session you will then complete a summary of your learning and consider how you can continue to make progress towards your goals and manage potential set-backs in the future. The eventual aim is for you to take what you have learned in the group beyond the sessions, and apply the new ways of coping in your everyday life.

+ General Anxiety Disorder

This course is designed to help us identify and become more aware of the link between worry and anxiety and other unhelpful coping strategies. We will look at alternative coping strategies to help us live our lives more in line with our values.

The course guides you through five steps including understanding how worry works and what keeps it going, identifying the difference between hypothetical worries and current worries and thinking about dealing with both types, learning about intolerances of uncertainty, identifying and questioning beliefs you have about worry and considering worry as a strategy to avoid difficult emotions.

+ Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Many people find that worrying about the future or ruminating over past events can leave them feeling more anxious, stressed or low. Often this worry and rumination can feel very difficult to control, and may continue despite our best intentions to try to stop it. MBCT can help us learn ways to reduce the impact of worry and rumination, which can increase our mental wellbeing. MBCT can help by strengthening our ability:

  • To notice when we are caught up in unhelpful thoughts
  • To let these thoughts go and bring our attention back to the present moment; and
  • To relate to ourselves and our experience with greater gentleness and kindness.

MBCT teaches a range of meditation practices and cognitive therapy techniques. It is important to realise that the approach is not about learning simple relaxation or becoming detached from painful experiences. It is being able to cultivate a gentle and compassionate curiosity to our moment to moment experiences. It is also about accepting things as they currently are and, in this way, increasing our level of choice.

The approach works through practice and benefits are usually felt by those who are able to commit to the daily practice at home and the integration of the practice into their daily lives.

+ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that seeks to help people understand how their problems are working and what keeps them going. It emphasizes the importance of making changes in order to help reduce symptoms, and aims to equip people with the tools to manage their own problems.

CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for different types of problems, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Unlike some forms of therapy, the focus is on here-and-now problems rather than on looking at past distress or difficulties.

Sessions cover an introduction to how CBT can help with OCD, as well as:

  • Understanding how your OCD works and what keeps it going. This will include understanding how your thinking (the cognitive part of CBT) and what you do (the behaviour part) impacts on your OCD symptoms
  • Identifying what changes you can make to help with your symptoms
  • Making a plan and putting changes into action
  • The aim is for the group to be a good place to learn from others with similar problems and support one another with making changes
  • Planning for the future – building on progress made and dealing with set backs

“I would highly recommend anybody who is suffering from depression to come on this course. It has helped me come out from a very dark scary place to a place where I understand that I can help myself slowly to a much better place in my life”

“Supportive, helpful, clear and concise, a great group splendid people and after every session I felt feeling more optimistic, less isolated and that I can deal with my difficulties. It’s also helped me decided upon a direction work-wise. I want to help people like me”

Service User

one to one support

Our 1:1 sessions are delivered at the same time and place each week. Your therapist will discuss with you how long your treatment will last.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is based within an equal, collaborative relationship.  The client is an expert on their own difficulties, while the therapist brings knowledge on how different problems arise, are maintained and how a person can begin to make changes.  CBT acknowledges that earlier experiences can shape the way a person thinks, feels and behaves; however the focus in session is on a person's current difficulties and understanding how things are affecting them in the 'here and now'. CBT sessions are structured and goal orientated; between-session activities are planned to help this process and to enable the practice of techniques between therapy sessions. 

For more information about CBT you can visit the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) website ( or NHS Choices.


Counsellors offer a safe, confidential place to talk about issues which may be causing people concern.

The aim of counselling is to find ways of managing situations more satisfactorily, either by making changes in life, or helping people find ways of managing the different feelings that arise.  It is not usually about giving advice, but instead looks to enable a person to work out their own way through a situation by providing support and a safe place to reflect.

Our counselling service is offered to anyone over 18. The service offers a range of clinics across the city that are accessible for both men and women.

For more information on counselling, visit the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website ( or NHS Choices.