Frequently asked questions

 

 

 

 

What are talking therapies?

Talking therapies involve talking to someone who is trained to help you to understand and deal with negative or disturbing feelings. Talking therapies involve a number of appointments with the same therapist over a period of time. In these appointments you will be encouraged to describe your thoughts and how you are feeling, and you will explore together the effect your thoughts and feelings are having on your mood and behaviour. Talking therapies can include seeing someone individually, in a group with others, or with your family.

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How do talking therapies help?

Talking about your thoughts and feelings can help you deal with difficult times in your life. If you worry about something over and over in your mind it can make things worse. But talking about it can help you work out what is really troubling you, and explore what you can do about it. Your therapist can then help you work out where your negative feelings and ideas come from and why they are there. With this understanding you can decide what positive changes you can make, and take greater control over your life.

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What sort of problems can be helped through talking therapies?

Talking therapies can help people with emotional difficulties or mental health difficulties. These could include low mood, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, gender identity problems, self-harm, anger or low self-esteem. They can also help people deal with more complex and severe problems such as psychoses or bi-polar disorder. Talking therapies can also help people deal with difficult life experiences such as bereavement, bullying, relationship problems, issues at school or work, physical illness, pregnancy or abuse. The talking therapies available at the Brent Centre can help young people with mild to moderate difficulties. If you think your difficulties are more severe, please contact your GP who will be able to help you.

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What if I just have a small problem?

If something is worrying you, then it is always better to address it than ignore it and hope it goes away, however big or small it might be. You can contact us to find out whether our therapists could help you.

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Who can see a therapist from the Brent Centre?

Our services are available for people between the ages of 11 and 21. At our Centre, Laufer House, we help people aged 14 – 21, and in most of the other places we work in the community we help people aged 11-18. Most of the people who see our therapists live in Brent, but sometimes those from other boroughs will also be able to access our services. If you are coming to have family therapy at our Centre, your parents or carers and siblings will also be invited to come to your appointments.  If you are unsure about whether you are able to access our services, please contact us to speak to a member of our team.

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How can I get an appointment?

If you would like to start seeing a therapist at the Brent Centre, or in one of the other places we work in our community, please let us know. To get an appointment at the Centre you will usually need a referral from your GP first. You can contact us to discuss this and to find out more, or make an appointment with your GP directly. If you attend one of the schools or organisations where we work, you can speak with a member of staff and ask for a referral. More details can be found on our how to get help page.

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How long will it take to be offered an appointment?

Once you’ve contacted us, we will get you an appointment as soon as possible. The length of time you may have to wait will depend on which service you are getting, and where you are going to see the therapist.

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What will my appointments be like?

This will depend on what type of therapy you are having. You can read about each type of therapy in our individual therapies, group therapies and family therapy pages. In all sessions you will meet a caring and professional therapist who will listen to you, will not judge, and will do their best to help you.

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How much will I have to pay?

We raise money so that you do not have to pay to see a therapist. However if you are having Psychotherapy at our Centre you will be asked to contribute a small amount to your sessions. The amount will depend on how much you can afford, and it is a good way to make a commitment to your therapy.

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How frequently will I have appointments?

  • Adolescent Exploratory Therapy appointments are usually weekly, and sometimes fortnightly
  • Psychotherapy appointments can be once, twice or three times per week, depending on your needs
  • Group therapy appointments are usually weekly
  • Family therapy appointments are sometimes weekly, sometimes fortnightly and sometimes monthly, but the frequency will depend on your own requirements
  • Sport & Thought sessions are usually weekly
  • Parent support sessions are flexible and the frequency of sessions will depend on how often they are needed

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How many appointments can I have?

  • Adolescent Exploratory Therapy appointments are available for as long as you need them
  • Psychotherapy will last for 1-2 years, and sometimes another year is offered when necessary
  • Group therapy will usually be for a set time period, such as a school term, six months or an academic year
  • Family therapy appointments are usually available in blocks of four sessions but you can attend for as long as you need them
  • Sport & Thought programmes usually run for a set time period, such as a school term, six months or an academic year
  • Parent support sessions are flexible and the number of sessions will depend on how many are needed

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What happens if I miss my appointment?

Don’t worry if you can’t come to your appointment. Please let your therapist know that you can’t come, and they will tell you when your next appointment will be. If you don’t tell your therapist that you can’t come to your appointment they will contact you to arrange another. If you miss two appointments in a row without telling us that you can’t come, we will assume you no longer want to come to sessions and will usually stop your therapy.

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Will I feel better straight away?

Talking therapies are not a magic cure for your problems, but they can help you to make positive changes and work through them. Sometimes people feel better quite quickly once they start sharing their problems with a trained professional, but often it can take a bit of time and it will depend on the type of difficulties you are having. Even though it might take some time to feel better, it is important to give your therapy a chance. By addressing your problems now, you are making sure they are not left to get worse in the future.

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Are my therapy sessions confidential?

Yes. What you discuss in your therapy will be kept confidential, and will not be shared with other people. However, if your therapist thinks that you or someone else is at risk of harm, then it is their duty to help keep that person safe. This may involve sharing something you have told your therapist. If this happens, your therapist will always try to speak with you first to get your permission. If you would like to find out more about our policy on confidentiality, please contact us.

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Will you share information about me with my parent or carer?

No, your therapist will not share anything you discuss in your sessions with your parent or carer. What you talk about will be treated confidentially. However if your therapist thinks that you or someone else is at risk of harm, then it is their duty to help keep that person safe. This may involve sharing something you have told your therapist with you parent or carer. If this happens, your therapist will always try to speak with you first to get your permission. If you would like to find out more about our policy on confidentiality, please contact us.

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Will you share information about me with my GP?

What you discuss in your therapy will be kept confidential, and will not be shared with other people. However your therapist may work together with your GP to provide you with the best possible help and support. This could involve sending your GP a confidential letter telling them how your therapy is going, and what progress you have been making. However this will not always be the case, and may depend on the type of therapy you are having. If you would like to find out more you can contact us, or speak with your therapist.

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Can I have more than one type of therapy at the same time?

Sometimes this can be helpful. For example if you are seeing a therapist individually and are also experiencing family difficulties, it might be beneficial for you to come for family therapy sessions as well. But usually people have one therapy at a time. Sometimes people will finish having group therapy or family therapy, and decide they would like to see a therapist individually to continue exploring their difficulties in more depth. This is possible, and you should discuss this with your therapist if you think this could be helpful.

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What happens when I want to stop my appointments?

If you are having therapy individually or with your family and think you are ready to stop your appointments, then you can discuss this with your therapist. You will then decide together when your last session will be. If you are having group therapy or are attending a Sport & Thought programme you will probably be attending a set number of sessions. If you would like to stop then you can talk to your therapist and discuss when to stop coming.

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I used to come to the Brent Centre, can I start having sessions again?

This is usually possible, depending on your current circumstances. If you are still aged between 11 and 21 and could benefit from further therapy, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.

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I am a concerned parent or carer, can you help?

We know that every family and young person has different needs, and sometimes young people may be unsure about asking for help. At our Centre we can offer family therapy and parent support sessions so that parents and carers can get the support they need, and get the right support in place for their young person. If you would like to talk to us about how we could help you and your son or daughter, please contact us.

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I am worried about my friend, can you help?

If you are concerned for the wellbeing of a friend and feel they would benefit from some help, you could tell them about our Centre and encourage them to contact us. If your friend feels unsure about visiting us alone, perhaps you could offer to come with them.

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What can I do if I want to speak to someone before my next appointment?

If you feel that you can’t wait until your next appointment to speak to someone, you can contact us. We will do our best to help you. You can also access the 24 hour support offered by the Samaritans, Childline, Talk to Frank or NHS Direct. You can find their contact details here.

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What should I do if it is an emergency?

The Brent Centre does not offer emergency care. An emergency might include situations where someone is at risk of harm, feeling suicidal or needs urgent medical attention. In these situations, please contact your GP or local hospital.

If you contact us during our opening hours, we will do our best to advise you. Our opening hours are:

9.30am – 7pm Monday to Thursday

9.30am – 6pm Friday

We are closed at the weekend and on bank holidays

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Who works at the Brent Centre for Young People?

Our team of therapists includes Psychoanalysts, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Counsellors or Psychotherapists in Training, Young Person’s Mental Health Workers and Psychologists. We have a number of female and male therapists, who are all specially trained in helping young people. There are also a number of other members of staff who work at the Centre. Click to find out more about our team.

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