Q What happens at assessment?

We offer an initial 30 minute telephone assessment to ascertain the most appropriate treatment for your problems. By routinely using the telephone we can most effectively manage the assessment process. This enables us to offer the best possible selection of assessment slots and to respond faster to referrals. We aim to offer assessment within three days of referral.

We understand that not everyone wishes to have a telephone assessment and face-to-face assessments at our offices and in community locations are also available. You should be offered a choice, but please feel free to make a request for a face-to-face appointment. Please be aware that this may mean waiting a little longer than the standard three day threshold of referral to assessment.

We can also offer assessments via Skype, and in other languages.

At assessment you will have the opportunity to describe your problems and to explore, with a trained psychological wellbeing practitioner, what you believe the origins of your problem might be.

We will also ask you about your current behaviours, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, in order to enable us to assess what you might be suffering from, and which treatment might be the most appropriate.

Our treatments are based on the principle of ‘least intervention first time’. This means that we endeavour to offer sufficient help to get you back on your feet. Evidence shows this to be an effective guiding principle.

We aim to deliver treatment that is evidenced-based, and this process begins at assessment, when we will ask you to complete some common psychological measures. These, along with your description, and the answers to some standard questions, will help the practitioner to suggest an effective treatment pathway for you. We aim to make this decision in conjunction with you: we want this process to be collaborative – you are, after all, the expert on you!

We will explain confidentiality to you, and will also take some basic information about how and when to contact you. For instance, do you prefer to be contacted by phone, email, text or letter?

If we haven’t already obtained your demographic information, we will ask for it now.

Please feel free to ask any questions at assessment. This is a two-way process; we do need to learn about you in order to provide the most appropriate treatment, but you also need to be feel confident about us as a provider of psychological services.

Q What is expected from me?

Commitment – research shows all talking therapies work better if you are committed to the treatment and want to make changes.

Attendance – part of committing to treatment is attending all telephone or face-to- face sessions which have been arranged. Regular sessions make the therapy more effective. Also, being on time for your appointment will help you get the most out of the session.

Practice – all the talking therapy techniques encourage you to practice new skills between sessions, based on what was covered in the session you attended.

Openness – treatment is often most helpful if you are open to different ways of thinking about your problems. We will support you in doing this.

Q What happens at appointments?

Your practitioner will let you know how long each appointment will last. Sessions are usually 30 or 50 minutes. Under normal circumstances you will speak with the same practitioner for each session. We will remind you by text of your next appointment.

Q What should I do if I can’t keep an appointment?

You are asked to let the practice receptionist or Psychological Therapy Provider (PTP) office know if you are unable to keep an appointment.

All appointments that are not attended will count towards the maximum number of sessions you have been offered. If you do not attend an appointment, and do not let us know, your practitioner will make every effort to contact you, but will not routinely offer you another appointment. Instead he/she will discuss what the best option for you might be. You may contact your GP, or self-refer (by calling the PTP office) should you wish to receive further therapy.

Q Why do you use questionnaires at appointments?

Addaction uses questionnaires developed by experts to identify your symptoms and measure their severity. All clients are asked to complete questionnaires at each appointment with the service; this helps us to track improvements or difficulties.

Questionnaires can be completed online prior to your session, or in the session with you. The information is collated onto a database for research purposes. The information from the questionnaires will be treated as strictly confidential and no one other than us will have access to your responses. Reports that are generated from this information contain aggregated and anonymised data ensuring clients cannot be identified.

Q How do you ensure quality?

We aim to provide a high quality service to all our clients. To do this we welcome feedback from our clients, have our work supported by senior clinicians and encourage external organisations to monitor and oversee the work we do.

Quality is maintained in the following ways:

  • From your feedback. During your treatment you will be asked to complete a Patient Experience Questionnaire so you can tell us how your treatment is going.
  • Your practitioner is employed by an organisation (Addaction) and practises under regular and professional supervision, underpinned by organisational Clinical Governance guidelines. This ensures that the therapy offered is of the highest possible quality.
  • Addaction is registered with the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
  • You are invited to write or speak to the Service Managers if you have any comments, positive or negative – that you wish to make about the service.