Talk Therapy FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What issues do people bring to therapy?

    Examples of issues that people bring to therapy are listed below.

  • How long will each appointment last?

    Each therapy appointment lasts for 50 minutes and will be on the same day, at the same time and with the same therapist each week. Keeping within agreed time frames avoids disappointment and helps us to fulfil our commitment to you and to others attending or waiting for our services. There is very strong supporting evidence that commitment and regular attendance improve outcomes and contribute to a better overall experience.

  • Am I eligible?

    You must normally be a resident of Bolton to be eligible for our talking therapy services. There are no minimum or maximum age requirements.

  • Is a talking therapy right for me?

    Although many people can benefit from therapy, not everyone finds it helpful. You might find that it just doesn’t suit you, or doesn’t meet your needs.

    Before deciding to have therapy, it might be helpful to think about the following:

    • Is short-term therapy right for me? If you have severe or complex problems, you may find a short-term therapy is less helpful. Sometimes, therapy may need to go on for longer to cover fully the number of problems you have, and the length of time they’ve been around.
    • Am I comfortable thinking about my feelings? Therapy can involve becoming aware of your anxieties and emotions. Initially, you may find this process uncomfortable or distressing.
    • How much time do I want to spend? Therapy (especially CBT) can involve exercises for you to do outside of your sessions with a therapist. You may find this means you need to commit your own time to complete the work over the course of treatment, and afterwards.
    • Do I have a clear problem to solve? You may find CBT is less suitable if you feel generally unhappy or unfulfilled, but don’t have troubling symptoms or a particular aspect of your life you want to work on. Another talking therapy might be more appropriate or helpful.

  • Tell me more about MhIST therapists

    Our therapists are professionals who have (at least) a person centred counselling or CBT qualification. To ensure that we have therapists in the future, MhIST provides a number of placement opportunities for therapists in training.

    MhIST therapists go through a rigorous recruitment process, must attend regular clinical and management supervision, and commit to ongoing learning and professional development. All are members of one or more professional bodies such as BACP ( , BPS ( and BABCP ( and work within legal, professional and agency guidelines.

    All of our staff are subject to a regular enhanced DBS check for working with both adults and children.

  • How much does therapy cost?

    MhIST therapy services are free if you are referred via 1point (North West). You can contact 1point on 01204 917744. 1point notify us when you specifically ask for therapy with MhIST.

    If you do not qualify for a free service, and wish to pay per session we may be able to help. Please contact us on 01204 527200 or email: for further information.

  • What if my problem comes back?

    Not everyone finds that the course of therapy they’ve been offered helps as much as they’d like. In this case you might want to think about the options below.

    • Talk to your therapist about your feelings (if you are currently receiving therapy). They may be able to talk through your concerns and help you get more out of the sessions.
    • Find a different therapist. If things don’t feel right, or you don’t have a good relationship with your therapist, you may not get the most out of your sessions. You might find that you have a very different experiences with a different therapist. Talk to your GP or the organisation giving you CBT about seeing someone else.
    • Ask your GP for a longer course, or a different treatment. Try to be honest about how you feel and what you need.

  • What is the therapeutic relationship like?

    One to one talking therapies can bring you into a kind of relationship you may not have had before.

    We believe that the quality of the relationship between therapist and client is fundamental to the effectiveness of the therapy process. We build our relationships on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. Therapy takes place in a safe, private and confidential, non-judgemental environment. You will be encouraged to talk openly and honestly, about your feelings, concerns and any situations you find difficult. As you begin to move from feeling stuck to gaining clarity, it is easier to consider the options and possibilities that are open to you. Ultimately, you will be the one making informed decisions about your way forward and the best path for you. By the very nature of our work, close and trusting relationships form between counsellor and client, nevertheless, the relationship will remain professional at all times.

    This therapeutic relationship may help you feel able to open up and talk about things that are difficult or personal to you.

  • How many sessions can I have?

    We currently provide 6 sessions, each session is 50 minutes. A review of the work is undertaken in week 3 with your therapist. During your review, you can discuss your progress and experience of therapy. You may also discuss whether any further sessions are needed.

    The type therapy MhIST offers is usually short-term, so you wouldn’t be expected to continue with the treatment for a long time. For example, a course of therapy might be delivered in 12 hour-long weekly sessions, spread across 12 weeks. These sessions will be delivered:

    • Face-to-face
    • On the phone
    • Over a video call

  • New Groups!

  • What am I feeling?

    Sometimes people have difficulty in expressing how they feel or cannot find the right word. Below is a list of feeling words.

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