What are the courses like?
Our psycho-educational courses are similar to an evening class. There will be one or two course facilitators who will present information, tools and techniques, and open up discussions within the group. The courses are very informal and we aim to create a calm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
What will happen when I get there?
Upon arriving you will be welcomed by a member of staff or one of our volunteers who will ask you which course you are attending. They will sign your name off on a register and give you a sticky label with your preferred name on. We give out these name badges so that no-one has to introduce themselves. You will then be shown through to the room where the course is being run and will be asked to complete a questionnaire. These questionnaires are confidential and will be fully explained at the start of the course. If you would like any assistance completing the questionnaire or have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff.
What will I have to do?
While the course facilitators will pose questions to the group as a whole, they will never address anyone specifically, so you are free to participate as much or as little as you would like. Here’s a list of what we do and do not do:
- We respect that everyone will be attending the course for different reasons and will have their own range of knowledge and experiences, and we ask that people show the same respect to each other.
- We acknowledge that coming to these courses can be difficult. For many people this will be their first experience of anything like this, so we try to be as friendly and welcoming as possible. At the start of each course we come up with a list of ‘Group Guidelines’ to alleviate some of the fears people might have.
- We try our best to answer your questions. If we can’t, we will try to find out for the following session, but we hope that the course content will answer many of the questions that people may have.
- We emphasise the importance of home practice. We encourage people to try some of the techniques we suggest on the courses as this enables people to try new things and address any difficulties encountered during the following session. However, this is not compulsory and we will not ask anyone why they didn’t try something as we recognise that not all techniques will be suitable for everyone.
- We don’t do ‘ice-breaker’ exercises, so you will not have to tell everyone your name, find out about the person sat next to you, or say something interesting about yourself.
- We don’t ask people to share their experiences. While we welcome people sharing and try to encourage discussion, no-one will be forced to participate or say anything if they do not want to.
- We don’t do group therapy. These are psycho-educational courses, so our aim is to teach people how to overcome or cope with different emotional difficulties.
What will I have to bring?
People are very welcome to bring a pen and notepad if they want to make their own notes. We do, however, provide handouts which summarise the content of each session as well as any worksheets where applicable. These can also be printed on coloured paper or in larger print if required. On almost all of our courses, we will have a break halfway through for refreshments. These are self-funded so any voluntary contribution to this is very welcome. However, if you don’t have any change with you on the night, you are still welcome to help yourself.
Who else will be there?
Our courses are open to everyone so a wide range of people may be attending the course. People can self-refer, which means that they can contact us directly to book a place on a course or register via the website. Other people will be referred by their GP or by a LIFT Psychology Mental Health Practitioner.
How long do the courses run for?
Most weekday sessions last for two hours with a ten minute break halfway through for refreshments. The total course length varies with each course with a range of three to six weekly sessions. Generally, these will be held on consecutive weeks, although there are some instances where there is a one week gap due to school term breaks or bank holidays. Full details about each course can be accessed via this website page courses available, or by calling us in the office on 01793 836836.
Who runs the courses?
Our courses are facilitated by a range of Assistant Psychology Practitioners and Mental Health Practitioners from the LIFT Psychology team.
What happens if I am late or if I can’t make it?
We would always rather that someone was late than miss the whole session. If you are running late, the course facilitators will not make a fuss and will be available either during the break or at the end if you have any questions. If you can’t make a session then that’s okay too. We do appreciate it if you let us know beforehand, but it is by no means essential. If you would like to carry on with the same course then simply come along to the following session or book onto another one if you’d prefer.
How do I find the course venue?
Please call us if you are looking for directions to a specific venue. Unfortunately we cannot reimburse travel costs.
What are the courses based on?
Our courses are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is a kind of talking therapy. The theory behind this will be fully explained at the beginning of each course.