Low Intensity Treatments

As an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service, we follow a stepped care model. This means offering low intensity treatments as the first line treatment whenever possible, then reviewing progress and ‘stepping up’ to high intensity therapy if it is needed.

Most people start with a low intensity treatment. All the workshops, groups and guided self-help (using leaflets, books or online support) are low intensity.

What is a low intensity treatment?

By low intensity we mean a treatment that uses fewer resources. This might mean a shorter treatment, involving a small number of individual face-to-face sessions. Alternatively it might involve telephone support or group sessions.

Using low intensity treatments first means that we can:

  • offer psychological help to more people
  • offer psychological help more quickly
  • offer early intervention, before problems build up
  • offer a choice of group and guided self-help programmes

Low intensity interventions are:

  • Often more convenient for patients
  • Based on evidence of effectiveness
  • Based on a teaching skills model thus contributing to longer term wellbeing

Available low intensity intervention options:

If your main problem is low mood or depression:

  • Online support: E-Couch
  • Guided self-help using the Overcoming Depression workbook
  • Behaviour Activation group
  • Behaviour Activation: enhanced guided self-help

If your main problem is panic attacks:

  • The CBT group for panic
  • Guided self-help using a book or workbook on panic

If your main problem is loss of confidence, perhaps with symptoms of both anxiety and depression:

  • Guided self-help using Over Low Self-Esteem or Mind over Mood or one of the other workbooks
  • Wellbeing workshop: How to improve your self-confidence
  • Anxiety and Depression group

If your main problem is stress, anxiety or worry:

  • Guided self-help using the Overcoming Anxiety or one of the specific anxiety self-help books
  • Wellbeing workshop: How to handle your stress

If you have had several episodes of depression and your main concern is to reduce the chance of it coming back:

  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy course

If your main problem is low mood, anxiety and stress linked to a long-term medical condition, please click here to find out more about treatment options.