Frequently Asked Questions

What problems can Waltham Forest Talking Therapies IAPT help treat?

The Waltham Forest Talking Therapies IAPT service is able to treat a wide range of emotional and low mood problems:

  • depression and low mood
  • anxiety
  • stress


This service can also help with problems that can make life difficult, such as:

  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • worries about socialising
  • worries concerned with health
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.

How many sessions will I get?

The majority of people entering the service will start with six sessions with the low intensity team.

If required, a further twelve sessions can be offered with the high intensity team.

Some people do go directly to the high intensity team if there is deemed to be an immediate need for certain types of therapy.

How long does each session last?

Usually the first session will last an hour. Subsequent sessions will last from between half an hour to an hour, depending on the type of therapy.

Is it free?

Yes the service is provided as part of the NHS and is therefore free to all those who are registered with a GP in the Waltham Forest catchment area.

Is it availble to those who don't speak English?

Yes we do offer an interpreting service, which means sessions can be conducted in all common languages prevalent in Waltham Forest.

Are you open in the evenings?

The service is open 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Thursday evenings.

Can I come with a family member or friend?

Whilst you may wish to be accompanied to the sessions with a friend or family member for support, the actual therapy sessions are for you alone. Therefore you would not be able to bring someone into the sessions with you.

The reason for this is to make sure the sessions are private and confidential so that you can talk freely about what is troubling you.

Will my GP be told if I have therapy?

A GP will be told when one of their registered patients is someone who is starting treatment with the service.

The GP will also be informed once the person has completed their therapy.

Do you run any groups?

Yes there are many groups available in the service and these are open to anyone who is registered in the service. The groups that we currently run include:

  • anxiety management
  • overcoming low self-esteem
  • relaxation group
  • staying well at work
  • assertiveness
  • mindfulness for depression
  • gentle movement for stress
  • long-term conditions group
  • older people’s group
  • Asian women’s group
  • wellbeing workshops


Any one of our team will be able to tell you more about the groups and/or how to register.

What does IAPT stand for?

IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.

IAPT is a national programme, set up six years ago to enable more people to access psychological therapies within the NHS.

What is CBT?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This is a therapy that has been well researched and shown to be effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety.

The therapy involves looking at thoughts (cognitions) and behaviours that may not be helping with managing low mood and anxiety. CBT will equip a person to challenge these thoughts and changing behaviours to maximise the chances of overcoming depression and anxiety.

How effective is CBT compared to other therapies

CBT was chosen as the most suitable approach to treat anxiety and depression due to the positive research and results proving the treatment to be effective.

Other therapies can also be effective in the treatment of these problems.

Will I have to talk about my childhood?

CBT tends to focus more on the here and now, looking at current thoughts and behaviours. This is different from other therapies which can focus on exploring the past to understand the present.

However there may be some discussion of how certain beliefs, thoughts or behaviours have developed over time.

Is it confidential?

The sessions are completely confidential.

The only exception to this is when there is evident risk that someone might hurt themselves or someone else. In this case, with full agreement from the person being treated, other services may need to be contacted in order to arrange a plan to keep the person safe.

Do you have child minding facilities?

Unfortunately we do not operate a crèche or have child minders or facilities available.

Do you do couples therapies?

The service does run a behavioural couple’s therapy programme.

To access this both partners would need to be registered with the service, and meet criteria for such therapy. This can be explained by any team member.

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