Getting Started

We are so pleased you've decided to take the first step towards improving your mental wellbeing. 

The world of mental health can feel confusing and overwhelming and it can be difficult to know how and when to seek support or even where to start. We really care about supporting you with this journey and helping you make informed choices. For example, you may have a preference for online therapy over face to face therapy, or private therapy over NHS therapy. We want to make sure you're aware of your options.

 

Like all problems, it can be really useful to break things down into simple steps to help get started. 

 

We suggest using the following four steps as a starting point:

Step One

Identify the problem and your goals.

Step Two

Understand the support available to you.

Step Three

Access and engage with your chosen method of support

Step Four

Review your progress and maintain positive change.

Thinking Man

Step One

Identify the problem and your goals.

The Problem

We are better able to change something when we know what we want to be different. So, it’s important to give some thought to the main problem you are experiencing and want help with. For example, you may be looking for therapy for anxiety but not know what type of anxiety disorder it is. That's OK. The problem doesn’t need to be a self-diagnosis or even have a name. It may be a cluster of feelings, behaviours or concerns. It may be observations your loved ones have shared, or it may be that you simply don’t feel yourself. You might find you have several problems and don’t know where to start. That’s fine – make a list. A mental health professional will be able to help support you to better understand this and identify the main problem to address. Working on one problem often has a positive ripple effect on the others.

The Goals

Goals help keep us focused. Sometimes, if we’re unsure about what the main problem is, identifying a goal and focusing on what we want can help us identify it. Your goal doesn’t need to be perfectly defined but it’s helpful for you to have a sense of what you want to work on or what you would like to be different. If you have been feeling irritable and snappy for example, you may want techniques to help you feel calmer. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, you may want some coping strategies for stress or to learn how to practice mindfulness, and if you’ve avoiding certain things out of fear or worry, you may want to be able to face these things again.

Pile Of Books

Step Two

Understand the support available to you.

Once you have identified the problem and your goals, it is helpful to look into the support available to help you with this. Your GP can often be a helpful starting point.

 

At Brighter Minds, we offer an initial consultation to help you get started on your journey to achieving your mental health and wellbeing goals. In most cases, CBT is the clinically recommended approach and we can then arrange these sessions together. 

We have developed the following guides to help find out a bit more about CBT and other therapy options you may want to consider:

 

The NHS also offers information on how to access support for Mental Health.

Therapy Office

Step Three

Access and engage with your chosen method of support

This step is the ‘doing’ part. Depending on what kind of support you have chosen, this could involve working with a therapist, taking prescribed medication, seeing your GP or mental health nurse or possibly a combination of these things. It is important that you follow the treatment plan you have agreed and are honest with whoever is providing this support about whether you are finding it helpful. If not, it might be helpful to go back to Step Two and explore other options that may work better for you and discuss this with them in order to agree a new plan.

If your chosen method of support is CBT, we are here for you and you can book an online appointment now.

 

We have written the following articles to help:

Document with Pen

Step Four

Review your progress and maintain positive change

This is a really important step that is easy to skip over, especially if you are feeling much better. It can be helpful to take some time to think about your journey and note down responses to reflective questions that help you capture what you have learnt and achieved, such as the following:

  • What has helped you feel better and achieve you goal?

  • What changes do you want to maintain and how will you do this?

  • What challenges have you had along the way and how did you manage them?

  • What challenges do you think may present themselves and how might you manage them?

  • Who can support you to maintain your progress and change?

  • What can you do if you find yourself struggling again?