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NHS Swindon Talking Therapies - previously known as Swindon LIFT Psychology - aims to help people access support for a range of common mental health problems and provides a service for people registered with a GP in Swindon. 

If you live elsewhere in Wiltshire, please visit the Wiltshire Talking Therapies page for details about the service offered throughout the county. 

Talking therapies offers one-to-one therapy and online courses in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for common mental health problems. 

Talking therapies services do not provide urgent care. If you need help right now, call AWP’s 24-hour urgent response line free on 0800 953 1919.

For someone to talk to, you can also contact The Samaritans for free on 116 123. The Samaritans offers 24-hour telephone emotional support and befriending in complete confidence.

How we can help 

Many people can struggle to manage their emotions or feelings and need support to find helpful ways to cope. Our services can help you manage a range of common problems, including:  

  • low mood 

  • depression, including post-natal depression (PND)  

  • anxiety

  • stress  

  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)  

  • phobias  

  • post-traumatic stress (PTSD)  

We use evidence-based therapies, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Evidence-based means there is proof that the therapies are likely to make you feel better. We can assess what might be affecting you, however we are unable to offer specialist mental health treatment, medication or final diagnosis. You can find helpful information for other conditions via the main search area of the AWP homepage

The three main types of support we offer are:

  • self-help resources, for example information leaflets, relaxing audio media, and access to the SilverCloud website to help with difficulties such as stress, low mood, anxiety and some long-term physical health conditions. This is an online CBT programme with secure access from a computer, tablet or mobile phone with a login. You can find a range of useful media and links in our self-help resources section below.
  • courses and workshops which you can attend in person or online. 
  • one-to-one appointments, assessments and therapy sessions. 

Who we offer services to 

Talking therapies are available to anyone from the age of 16 years with a registered GP in Swindon.  

Our services offer help to people with a range of circumstances and from different backgrounds, including:  

Pregnant people and their partners, or those within the first two years of being a parent.  

Veterans – if you have been in the armed forces and have experienced upsetting or traumatic events. 

Older people – over the age of 65 who are just as likely to struggle with wellbeing as any other age group, but are less likely to look for help.  

Students – financial worries, friendships and exams can all cause stress and anxiety for students.  

People with employment and money worries – losing a job, being unemployed or struggling to pay bills can cause common mental health problems.  

People with long-term physical health conditions – a physical condition can affect your mental wellbeing. 

How to access our service 

You need to refer yourself to our services, though in some cases a professional might refer you if you have a long-term physical health condition, such as COPD or diabetes, which is affecting your mental wellbeing.  

For more information on how to make a referral, visit our referrals sections below. 

You can refer yourself to talking therapies by calling our team on 01793 836836 to book an appointment. 

Most of our initial appointments take place on the phone or via on video link. We can also offer you face-to-face appointments on request.   

For more information about what happens during your appointments, please visit the section about appointments further down this page.

Talking therapies service accepts self-referrals. If you feel that someone you are caring for would benefit from our services, please direct them to information about the support we offer and encourage them to contact our team on 01793 836 836 to make an initial appointment. 

If you are a doctor, social worker, employment advisor or any other professional, you can download our referral form here. Please complete this with as much relevant information as possible for the referral and email it to us at: awp.swindontalkingtherapies@nhs.net

Please note:

  • To make a referral, GPs and other health and care professionals will need the consent of the person they are referring.
  • We are unable to accept referrals for patients who are currently under the care of other mental health services.
  • Each referral is reviewed for suitability and we might contact the referrer for additional information or discussion.

Before your appointment 

During your appointment with the talking therapies service, you will be asked to complete the following routine service questionnaires. These are used to monitor your mood and help us to understand what treatment or support might be suitable for you. The questionnaires relate to the last two weeks and ask you to score how often you have experienced different symptoms. You can find the questionnaire here

Your first appointment is an assessment of what you might need, rather than the formal beginning of any therapy. This will last for a maximum of 45 minutes and can take place via:  

  • a phone call. 

  • an online video call 

Before your appointment, we will email you all the details you need, including a link to join a virtual appointment if your appointment is a video call. We will also attach a questionnaire for you to complete before the appointment to help us understand what is affecting you so we can look at the best ways to advise or treat you. To find out more about the information we collect from your questionnaire and what we do to keep it safe and confidential, please see our details on privacy and confidentiality below.

If you have any more one-to-one appointments in future, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire each time to see how your thoughts and feelings have changed, and if any therapies we have suggested are working for you. 

Your appointment 

At your appointment, one of our wellbeing professionals will ask you some questions about your difficulties before discussing the best ways to support you. We want to help answer any questions or concerns you might have, so it is always helpful to make a list of these before you come along. It will also help you to think about what you want to achieve through using our services.  

After the appointment, the wellbeing professional who assesses you might suggest: 

  • you try using some self-help resources first to see if they help with your difficulties. 

  • you take part in one of our courses or workshops. 

  • our services are not the best way to support you. If this is the case, you will be guided on where to find the right support and advice for you. 

  • in some cases, that we refer you to another team for more intensive support to help you through your difficulties. 

Other appointments and one-to-one therapy 

If you have tried self-help or a course after your first appointment to see if it will help with your difficulties and you feel it is not working, our team might suggest you have some one-to-one therapy sessions. 

You will be asked by the person treating you to complete something before your next appointment. This will help you benefit from the support available and might include: 

  • reading some information or completing a thought/activity diary. 

  • trying out a new technique, such as a mindfulness exercise. 

  • attending one of our courses. 

Review appointments after treatment 

If you are still experiencing difficulties after self-help, one-to-one therapy or attending one of our courses, we will help you book another appointment to review your treatment and look at different ways we can support you.  

How to book an appointment 

We have clinics and appointments at various times from Monday to Friday.

Please call us on 01793 836836 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m to book an appointment.

Other information about appointments 

  • If you need to cancel an appointment, please do this at least 48 hours before your appointment date so we can offer the appointment time to someone else on our waiting list. 

  • If you miss a first appointment without informing us beforehand, you will have to book a new first appointment before you can access the service again. 

  • If you miss two or more appointments in a row without telling us beforehand, we might end your access to our services so we can offer support to someone else on our waiting list. 

  • We follow the UK government’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on protecting NHS staff from violence. This policy makes it clear that our professional team have the right to care for people without being attacked, abused or harassed by anyone. In line with this policy, we will report any incidents to our management or the police. 

Privacy and confidentiality 

Like any appointment in the surgery, we will note on your records that you have attended the appointment and include a summary of your progress. We will also look at the details in your completed pre-session questionnaire.  

There might be some professional contact between our service and your GP, or other staff involved in your care, to share useful information. 

For your peace of mind, we will discuss the different types of information that will be shared when we meet you. For more information, click here.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our group courses and workshops have taken place online using video meeting software called Microsoft Teams. This has allowed more service users to take part, so we plan to continue with online courses in the future. 

To attend our online courses, you need a device with internet access. This can be a laptop, mobile phone or tablet with an internet browser so you can use Microsoft Teams. We will email you an invite with a link to join the session and will include details of how to use Microsoft Teams.

How we run our courses and workshops

We run a wide range of free courses and workshops to support people with different psychological and emotional difficulties. 

To make them as accessible as possible, our courses run in the day or evening. They are usually short courses of between one and six weekly sessions, with each session lasting up to two hours. We also run one-off workshops. You can find out how long each course is and when it takes place by taking a further look into the details of each course.

We value everyone’s need to feel as comfortable and welcome as possible, so we encourage you to take part in discussions and ask questions only if you want to. There is no expectation to do anything or speak on your own if you feel uncomfortable to do so. 

How to book a course or workshop 

Our current courses and workshops are listed at the bottom of this page and are available for people registered with a GP in Swindon. We recommend that you only book one course at a time to make the most of the content. 

For more information or to book a course, please contact our team on 01793 836836 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). 

Some of the courses we have to offer

Behavioural Activation for Depression

8 sessions – 90mins weekly

This free online course is aimed at people experiencing depression and low mood. This might include feelings of low motivation, low energy and withdrawal from people and activities. This course will support you to build motivation and do more of the things you enjoy or may have been putting off with the aim of lifting your low mood.

This is an online taught course, run in a group format, so although there will be some group discussion it is up to you how much or how little you choose to take part. We do encourage cameras to be turned on during sessions.

Internet access is required, and you will need to use Microsoft Teams to access this course.

If you are interested in this course, please contact us on the number provided at the top of the page and we will book you in for an assessment.

Please note: If attendance of courses is fewer than 4 people it is felt that it may not be appropriate to continue with the course.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to CBT and explaining how our thoughts and behaviours can influence how we feel, and why we may experience low mood or depression
  • Goal setting and how we can ensure we have a good balance of difference types of activities within our lives
  • How to break activities down into smaller, more manageable chunks in a way that we feel more able to do them
  • Different motivational techniques
  • Time management techniques
  • Establishing your ‘values’ and what is most important to you within certain activities

Generalized Anxiety & Managing Worry

6 sessions – 90mins weekly

This free online course is aimed at people experiencing problems with anxiety, focusing on general anxiety and excessive worry.

This is an online taught course, run in a group format, so although there will be some group discussion it is up to you how much or how little you choose to take part. We do encourage cameras to be turned on during sessions.

Internet access is required, and you will need to use Microsoft Teams to access this course.

If you are interested in this course, please contact us on the number provided at the top of the page and we will book you in for an assessment.

Please note: If attendance of courses is fewer than 4 people it is felt that it may not be appropriate to continue with the course.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding how to manage worry
  • How our thoughts and beliefs can contribute to worry and how to reduce their impact
  • How to manage and limit the impact of worry on our day to day lives
  • How to manage and tolerate uncertainty
  • How to turn unproductive worry into helpful problem-solving
  • How to develop your own plan for overcoming anxiety in a step-by-step manner

Graded Exposure for Phobias

4 sessions – 2 hours weekly

This free online course is aimed at people experiencing problems with specific phobias, focusing on overcoming the fear of specific objects, places etc. to improve wellbeing and reduce distress. This course is also available for those experiencing Agoraphobia, where avoidance of situations due to heightened fear and panic is the main presenting problem.

This is an online taught course, run in a group format, so although there will be some group discussion it is up to you how much or how little you choose to take part. We do encourage cameras to be turned on during sessions.

Internet access is required, and you will need to use Microsoft Teams to access this course.

If you are interested in this course, please contact us on the number provided at the top of the page and we will book you in for an assessment.

Please note: If attendance of courses is fewer than 4 people it is felt that it may not be appropriate to continue with the course.

Topics covered include:

  • What is a phobia and panic?
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and how our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours contribute to how we feel
  • Why we have and how to manage physical symptoms of fear and panic
  • The natural course of anxiety and fear
  • Graded Exposure – how we can gradually overcome our fears
  • How to develop your own plan for overcoming fear and panic in a step-by-step manner

Living with a long-term physical health condition can be challenging both physically and emotionally. The symptoms of health conditions can affect your day-to-day functioning and they often require active and demanding self-management, which can negatively impact your emotional wellbeing.

Within the talking therapies service, we offer a wide range of support for many different long-term health conditions, including:

  • chronic pain
  • fatigue
  • diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
  • respiratory conditions (for example asthma, COPD)
  • cardiac disease
  • neurological conditions (for example multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease)
  • long COVID
  • irritable bowel syndrome

Talking therapies services offer a variety of treatment options based on an approach called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which seeks to change our thoughts and behaviours to improve our physical state and emotional feelings. CBT is an evidence-based treatment for long-term health conditions and is a recommended component of rehabilitation and treatment programmes by the NICE guidelines.

Our available treatment options are delivered in a variety of formats, including:

  • online
  • virtual
  • guided self-help
  • one-to-one appointments
  • group-based workshops

Below is an overview of the various services we offer for some of the more common long-term health conditions. To book a course or to find out more information, contact Swindon talking therapies on 01793 836836.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

SilverCloud: Space in CHD from Depression and Anxiety

SilverCloud is a free online CBT-based programme designed to aid self-management of coronary heart disease and enhance wellbeing when living with the condition. The course contains online modules that you can work through in your own time over the course of eight weeks. When you sign up, you will be linked to a ‘SilverCloud Supporter’, who is a qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. They will review your progress with the programme and make sure you get the most from it by unlocking more modules that suit your needs as you go on.

One-to-one appointments

Individual psychology appointments are available to explore the impact of the cardiac condition and understand how it affects your emotional wellbeing. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service or via your GP.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

SilverCloud: Space in Lung Conditions from Depression and Anxiety 

SilverCloud is a free online CBT-based programme designed to aid self-management of lung conditions (for example COPD, asthma) and enhance wellbeing when living with the condition. The course contains online modules that you can work through in your own time over the course of eight weeks. When you sign up you will be linked to a ‘SilverCloud Supporter’, who is a qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. They will review your progress with the programme and make sure you get the most from it by unlocking more modules that suit your needs as you go on.

One-to-one appointments

Individual psychology appointments explore the impact of COPD and its symptoms on your life, helping you to understand how it affects your functioning and emotional wellbeing. During the sessions, you will explore strategies to enhance your day-to-day functioning as well as self-manage the common symptoms such as fatigue and breathlessness. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service or via your GP.

Diabetes

SilverCloud: Space in Diabetes from Depression and Anxiety

SilverCloud is a free online CBT-based programme designed to aid self-management of diabetes and enhance emotional wellbeing. The course contains online modules that you can work through in your own time over the course of eight weeks. When you sign up you will be linked to a ‘SilverCloud Supporter’, who is a qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. They will review your progress with the programme and make sure you get the most from it by unlocking more modules that suit your needs as you go on.

Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes Workshop

This free CBT-based workshop aims to help you with the self-management aspects of type 2 diabetes as well as improve your emotional wellbeing. Topics covered include goal-setting, problem-solving, communication and managing difficult thoughts and feelings.

One-to-one appointments

Individual psychology appointments explore the impact of diabetes on your life, helping you to understand how the reciprocal relationship between blood sugars, functioning and emotional wellbeing. In the sessions you will explore strategies to enhance your wellbeing, day-to-day functioning as well as self-manage condition. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service or via your GP.

Chronic pain

SilverCloud: Space in Chronic Pain from Depression and Anxiety

SilverCloud is a free online CBT-based programme designed to aid the self-management of pain and enhance emotional wellbeing. The course contains online modules that you can work through in your own time over the course of eight weeks. When you sign up you will be linked to a ‘SilverCloud Supporter’, who is a qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. They will review your progress with the programme and make sure you get the most from it by unlocking more modules that suit your needs as you go on.

One-to-one appointments

One-to-one appointments explore the impact of chronic pain on daily life, helping you to understand the interaction between daily functioning, emotional wellbeing and pain symptoms. In the sessions you will explore strategies to enhance your day-to-day functioning as well as to help you to self-manage the pain. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service.

Fibromyalgia

One-to-one appointments

One-to-one appointments explore the impact of fibromyalgia symptoms on daily life, helping you to understand the interaction between daily functioning, emotional wellbeing and symptoms. In the sessions you will explore strategies to enhance your day-to-day functioning as well as to help you to self-manage some of the common symptoms such as fatigue, pain and cognitive difficulties. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service.

Fatigue

One-to-one appointments

One-to-one appointments explore the impact of fatigue on daily life, helping you to understand the interaction between daily functioning, emotional wellbeing and symptoms. In the sessions you will explore strategies to enhance your day-to-day functioning as well as to help you to self-manage the fatigue. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service.

Long COVID

Long COVID is a condition that develops following an initial infection of COVID-19. Symptoms typically include fatigue, pain, breathlessness and cognitive difficulties. People with long COVID are welcome to access the Living Well with Long-Term Pain and Living Well with Fatigue courses, as well as the SilverCloud modules that are relevant to their symptoms.

Managing Long COVID course

If you are registered with a Swindon GP, you can access this free self-management course which teaches skills and techniques to manage the common symptoms of long COVID.

Your COVID Recovery

This NHS website aims to help you to recover from long COVID and manage the effects on your body and mind. You can sign up on the NHS website here.

One-to-one appointments

One-to-one appointments explore the impact of long COVID on daily life, helping you to understand the interaction between daily functioning, emotional wellbeing and symptoms. In the sessions you will explore strategies to enhance your day-to-day functioning as well as to help you to self-manage the common symptoms of long COVID. These sessions can be accessed via self-referral by contacting your local talking therapies service.

 

You will find a selection of self-help guides and resources to give you, or the person you care for, the information and tools needed to effectively support your mental health. Visit our self-help and resources page here for tips and advice on managing your mental wellbeing.  In addition to general resources, you will find links to specific resources depending on your life situation. 

Silvercloud is an interactive online CBT program which can be accessed from your own computer, tablet or mobile phone. You can use the tools and materials in the program from any location at any time and work through them at your own pace. You will be assisted by your own Silvercloud Supporter who will contact you weekly up to 6 times to guide and support you through the program.

There are specially tailored CBT treatment packages for depression, anxiety, and other common psychological problems as well as for some long-term health conditions.

If you are interested in joining Silvercloud please book an assessment with one of our Psychology Practitioners by calling 01793 836836.