What might therapy be like?

You will meet the same practitioner every time, unless they feel that you would benefit from a different kind of therapy. In this case, they may pass you to another practitioner, but they will always discuss this with you first. Sometimes your practitioner may feel that First Step is no longer the best service for you, and may refer you on to another team, but they will discuss this with you also.

Your practitioner will explain to you how many appointments are likely to be helpful for your problem.  We offer short term work and appointments will be either for 30 minutes or 50 minutes depending on the kind of therapy you will get.  You will usually meet your practitioner weekly or fortnightly.

You and your practitioner will have a discussion around what you would like to be different after therapy (to avoid making  assumptions) and agree specific goals with you.

Your practitioner will ask you to complete our standard questionnaires every session.  This will allow us to see how you are progressing.  Sometimes, they may ask you to also complete a more specific questionnaire.

You and your practitioner will agree a plan for each session, to ensure you both focus on what is most important to you overall and are able to get the maximum benefit.

You will work together with your practitioner to find the strategies that will work best for you. For more information on what your therapy may involve, see the section on ‘What does First Step offer?’

Your practitioner will usually give you some work to do in between sessions.  The reason for this is that we want to maximise the benefit you get from the sessions and this will mean practicing some techniques, or learning new skills or information.  It is important that you carry this work out, as we cannot make changes for you.  If you are unable to do this work, please discuss it with your practitioner.

When you reach the end of your sessions, you may complete some relapse prevention work with your practitioner in order to keep the good work going in the future.

Once you have been discharged from First Step, your practitioner will summarise your treatment and will send a copy to you and your GP.

More specific details on the various types of therapy that First Step offer are available in this section.


NHS staff celebrate helping over 100,000 Cumbrians’ with 24 hour three peak challenge

From Our Mental Health Team NHS staff celebrate helping over 100,000 Cumbrians’ with 24 hour three peak challenge

Over thirty adventurous First Step staff complete the highest peaks in the Lake District

First Step support service among country’s best

From Our Mental Health Team First Step support service among country’s best

First Step has become one of the most successful Mental Health services in the country

Trust Supports Armed Forces Day

From Our Mental Health Team Trust Supports Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is being celebrated across the county, find out what events are on and the services on offer to support Military Veterans

Mental health practitioner swaps books for boots

From Our Mental Health Team Mental health practitioner swaps books for boots

Mental health practitioner Nicky Lavery steps into the shoes of military veterans to help evolve First Step services.

Mental Health Awareness Week: Helpful top tips

Mental Health Awareness Week: Helpful top tips

To round off mental health week we have developed these top tips from NHS Choices

Mental health awareness week: Suicide prevention

From Our Mental Health Team Mental health awareness week: Suicide prevention

To promote mental health awareness week the Trust has produced a number of articles raising awareness of different mental health issues

National Stress Awareness day: case study

From Our Mental Health Team National Stress Awareness day: case study

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is supporting national stress awareness day 2014 which is held on the 5th November

Ways to Wellbeing Workshops

From Our Health Professionals Team Ways to Wellbeing Workshops

As an alternative to individual talking therapies we also have workshops which you might be offered at assessment from FirstStep