Guided Self Help

What is it?

Guided Self Help is a structured set of sessions that can be tailored to your specific difficulties to help your own understanding and your self management of these difficulties. We will look more at how your difficulties operate in the ‘here and now’ and what may be keeping them going; the focus will not be on past events. We will be introducing tools and techniques for you to apply to yourself and that you can continue to use to stay well in the future.

Why do we do it?

Guided self-help is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based approach for supporting people with mild to moderate anxiety, depression or stress. CBT is an evidence-based, problem focussed method of changing the way people think, feel and behave.

Who is it for?

Guided self help sessions can be tailored to suit people with practical difficulties related to mild or moderate;

  • Low mood
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Panic
  • Phobia
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Long term health conditions such as fatigue

What does it involve?

Guided self help involves meeting with a specially trained therapist face to face, in a course of up to six sessions. These sessions usually last thirty minutes and are generally spread across a number of weeks.

Our experienced therapists will work with you on an individual basis:

  • Listening and talking with you about your concerns
  • Identifying with you your priorities for the sessions
  • Support you to understand the issues you have and how they are affecting you
  • Introduce you to a range of self-help materials
  • Guide you in how to use these materials effectively
  • Help you to make positive and practical changes

You and your therapist will continue to review your progress throughout the sessions to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment.

What is required?

  • Commitment to attending sessions
  • Ability to set limited achievable goals to work on during treatment
  • Complete suggested reading away from sessions
  • Practising tools and techniques away from sessions

On-line Treatment

Many of our service users choose to access Guided Self Help on-line. You get the same content and individual support from a clinician, without needing to commit to attending regular sessions. This can be helpful for those who have busy lives as it allows you to work on your well-being when it suits you and to go at your own pace.

  • Research suggests it can be as effective as one-to-one therapy for many people.
  • It gives you faster access to therapy
  • The programme can also then be accessed for up to a year
  • It is available across platforms and so you can use it on a smartphone, tablet or PC.

You can watch the below video to learn more about on-line treatment. Further details are available from the Silvercloud website and from the NHS Choices website.


We have also included some service user feedback below:

‘’Very impressed so far with the balance between theory and opportunities to put it into practice, coupled with the fact that it seems manageable to complete a module per week.’’

‘’The journal is so helpful as it encourages me to actively engage with the topics and relate them to my experiences. This is invaluable. I feel I could write in the journal all day!’’

‘’Our thoughts, feelings and actions are all linked but it is possible to change the circle by changing one part of it. Trying to analyse what is triggering a particular feeling or worry will help me to find a more realistic way of thinking about it. I really enjoyed the exercises.’’

‘’This was helpful – it feels like there is practical information in this section on what I need to do to get myself out of my depression.’’

If you think that Guided Self Help could help you with your current difficulties, talk to your GP or self refer to the service on 0203 228 1350.