Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) are trained to provide specific treatments and interventions for managing common mental health problems such as low mood and anxiety. PWPs will support you using evidence–based techniques grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles (CBT). The techniques PWPs use can be described as guided self-help.
PWPs can also provide information of local services that may be able to support you with problems that may be contributing to your current difficulties, yet are unrelated to therapeutic settings.
What to expect from working with a PWP
PWPs offer face-to-face appointments for between 25-30 minutes to guide you in developing an understanding of your symptoms, and in gaining skills to manage anxiety and depression. Your first appointment may last up to 35-40 minutes to assess current issues and together create a plan of action to address your goals for therapy.
PWP sessions are geared towards gaining an understanding of your symptoms. Your PWP will help break down techniques during the sessions and give you time between sessions to try them out.
The work you do between sessions is a vital part of working with a PWP, as this therapy is “guided self-help”. You will be provided with handouts and booklets to work on between the sessions and to review in the sessions. Your sessions with a PWP will focus more on what you can do to overcome your difficulties, rather than looking at past experiences.
PWPs guide you through working on a particular technique to challenge thoughts and behaviours and look to help you tailor this technique to yourself.
Goal setting is important so you both have the same idea of where you are and where you would like to be. Together you will agree on manageable steps you can take session-by-session to work towards this goal.
Goal setting will also help you recognise positive changes you make towards where you want to be, helping you develop your own skill-set to manage difficulties with anxiety or depression.
What will I be doing during and between sessions?
You and your PWP will work together to develop a plan for you to work on. This may involve making changes to thoughts or behaviours to reach your goals. In the sessions you will address vicious maintenance cycles and how to break free of these.
You may create diaries for your thoughts or your daily activities and you may even look at using particular apps to support your recovery. Between sessions you will continue working on these tasks to be discussed at the next session.
Your PWP may use analogies, metaphors and imagery to help you recognise how your thinking may impact your behaviours and mood.
This therapy focuses on making small achievable and maintainable changes. Together you will explore potential barriers to applying these steps and the process is reviewed regularly. The aim is to give you the skills to support yourself in the future.