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Living well with long-term conditions (IAPT)

Living well with long-term conditions

People in the street

Talking Therapies are designed to help individuals deal with common Mental Health problems such as Anxiety and Depression.

Within Long-term Physical Health presentations, we recognise that our mental health can play a role in our physical health in relation to the symptoms that we experience and the impact this has on our ability to attend to our physical health the best we can. Expand the boxes to find out more.

“Individuals with a long-term health condition are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop a mental health presentation such as anxiety or depression.”
www.mentalhealth.org/uk

Common difficulties that individuals face after receiving a Long-term Physical Health presentation include, struggling to come to terms with the diagnosis, which is understandable as the impact on their lives is huge, as well as struggling to adapt to the changes which we might need to make to our lives in order to learn how to live with our new reality. Talking therapy support can help us in making those adjustments that we might need help with and also coming to terms with living with a long term health condition.
Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service also works closely with Physical Health Services throughout the local borough to ensure that every patient receives the most appropriate treatment approach.

Long term health conditions - diagram

Living with a Long-term condition can impact on our lives in many ways and we may find it difficult to understand what needs to be done differently causing further deterioration in our mood. Furthermore, we may not know how to do things differently, or potentially worry what our lives will look like in the future, what other people will think about our condition and also worry about judgement from others. Talking therapy support helps us in setting goals for our lives but also understand the impact of our Long Term Condition on our lives.

Our service can help you

We use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to provide you with the support and understanding to help you ‘live well’ with your long term health condition.

The vicious cycle

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Diagram - The Vicious Circle

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and how can it help me in managing my Long Term Health Condition?

CBT is an evidence based therapeutic approach, which helps people recognise unhelpful thinking patterns, behaviours and physical symptoms. Once identified, CBT helps us to challenge our problems through learning new ways of thinking and adapting our behaviour to alleviate our distress. Living with a long-term health condition can cause significant distress as our way of living may have changed, as well as our outlook for the future. We might be experiencing anxiety about the future, feeling quite low about our diagnosis or potentially be struggling with new ways to adapt to the changes that we are faced with. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help us in dealing with these challenges.

The service typically works with individuals with Long-term conditions such as Diabetes, Respiratory presentations such as COPD and Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. If you are unsure if the service can support you, please continue to make your referral. If the service is not the correct service to offer you support, we will do our best to find an alternative service who can help you.

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at two varying levels depending on your presentation and your goals for treatment.  The main difference between these two levels is that sessions are either 1 hr long, or ½ hr long.

All of our practitioners have been trained in Cognitive Behavioural therapy approaches. The services does offer Counselling also, however the NICE recommendations and evidence base suggests that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the preferred option to help individuals in dealing with psychological distress as a result of living with a long term condition.

Uses for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in treating a number of different mental health presentations. In addition to anxiety and depression, CBT can also help people with:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Respiratory Presentations such as (COPD, Asthma)
  • Diabetes

At the first appointment your practitioner/therapist will complete a further assessment to discuss your main concerns and goals for treatment. This will help the practitioner/therapist create a plan collaboratively with you that can help address the concerns and achieve these goals.


You may be given a small task to take away after your first session. These tasks may continue throughout treatment and encourage you to put the skills that you have learnt from treatment, into practice so that you can gain the most benefit from your talking therapy support.

One of the aims of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is “Training everyone to become their own therapist”, and these tasks at the end of the sessions are collaboratively designed to help achieve this.

Aims

To provide a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach to help cope with the difficulties of living with a long-term condition (LTC) and the impact which this might have on your mood. The courses utilise the CBT approach to help reduce anxiety, distress and low mood which can all have an impact on our physical health condition. The courses are usually 6-8 weeks long for a duration of up to 2 hours.

Who are these courses for?

These courses are for individuals living with a long-term condition who would like to learn evidence-based techniques in order to overcome common symptoms of anxiety and low mood ie: those experiencing increasing low mood and or anxiety as a result of diabetes. The course would also be suitable for individuals who are comfortable with a digital course and access materials via email.

What will I need to do?

As Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a therapeutic approach which requires practice to gain the most benefit, we would ask that you try and dedicate time to practising the skills and techniques which you will learn to get the most out of the course. Please try to complete any tasks set before the next session as this will help the facilitator to assist you further.

What will I get out of it?

Throughout the course, you will receive new material each week that will add towards helping you develop your own CBT skill toolbox of strategies which will help you in creating a positive emotional wellbeing environment for yourself. You will also develop a deeper understanding of how your emotions are linked to your physical health, what keeps these challenges going, and how to identify and enhance your existing strengths and develop new ones to become more resilient in living with a long-term health condition.

Video (to be supplied)

Courses available with the service

Living Well With Courses

The “Living Well With” Courses aim to provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches to cope with the difficulties of living with a long-term condition (LTC) and the impact this might have on your mood. The courses utilise CBT approaches to help reduce anxiety, distress and low mood which all can have an impact on a physical health condition. The courses are usually 6-8 weeks long for a duration of up to 2 hours.

Living Well With Long Term Conditions CBT Course

When living with a long-term health condition, you may find that your role within your family changes. If you were the ‘go-to’ person everyone else relied upon, it may be hard to accept that you are the one who now needs support. You may no longer be able to engage in pleasurable activities (sport/hobbies) to the level that you used to. On the other extreme, your family/carers may overestimate the amount of help you need, leading to an unnecessary loss of independence. All of this can have a negative impact on your mood.

The “Living Well With a Long Term Health Condition” group run by the Bedfordshire Wellbeing service can help you to see your current difficulties from a more healthy perspective. It will teach you tools and techniques to help you become your own therapist.

Courses for Diabetes and Respiratory conditions can be found in the sections below.

Your condition

We have a variety of support available for different conditions, including groups and courses, webinars, online CBT and one-to-one therapy. Simply expand the boxes below to see what’s available for your condition:

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service are able to offer support for individuals who have experienced a cancer diagnosis, in helping individuals with the changes which this may bring to their lives, as well as any trauma experienced as a result of the diagnosis and or subsequent treatment.

Therapy is delivered in the form of one-to-one treatment using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches. We also offer one-to-one counselling sessions which may be more appropriate for some individuals. We also have close links to The Psychology team at Bedford Hospital and MacMillan Cancer support services.

Other treatment options available

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers one-to-one talking therapy support as well as mood management courses dependent upon the needs of the individual.

Refer yourself to our service

Useful links

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers talking therapy support for individuals who have been diagnosed with a cardiac-related long-term condition. We are able to offer to talk therapy support for individuals experiencing low mood, and or anxiety as a result of a cardiac diagnosis and living with the diagnosis.

We also liaise closely with services at Bedford Hospital in supporting patients.

Other treatment options available
The Wellbeing service offers one-to-one talking therapy support as well as mood management courses dependent upon the needs of the individual.

Refer yourself to our service

Useful links

Living Well With Pain

The living well with Pain course is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course designed to help
individuals learn new ways of managing the symptoms of anxiety and low mood associated with a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue and also Chronic Pain. The course is delivered in a group setting, each session lasting 1 ½ – 2hrs long, delivered by a CBT-trained clinician, and currently is a digital group offering. If you are interested in this course and feel this may be of benefit to you, please do mention it to a member of our team when you make a referral.

Other treatment options available

We also offer one-to-one therapy treatment options which can be more suited to some individuals. The service also offers Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for individuals who are living with chronic pain which does benefit from a flexible approach. The Service also has close links with The Bedfordshire Pain management team, and works closely to ensure that individuals receive the most beneficial treatment approach.

Webinars

We offer a Living well with Pain webinar, which is an introductory webinar aimed at providing some CBT skills and approaches to help in making changes in dealing with pain and or fatigue. The webinar runs for 1hr and is presented digitally. This webinar can be booked by visiting
(BLMK Webinars link)

Refer yourself to our service

Useful Links

Living Well with Diabetes Course

The living well with Diabetes course helps individuals to deal with symptoms of low mood and anxiety which may be experienced as a result of living with your diabetes condition.

The course focuses on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques and approaches, delivered in a group setting. Each group session lasts for 1 ½ – 2hrs, at the moment this offering is currently a digital offering. If you feel this group would benefit you, please mention this to a member of our team when making your referral.

Other Treatment Options Available

We also offer one-to-one therapy treatment options which can be more suited to some individuals. The service also offers Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for individuals who are living with diabetes which does benefit from a flexible approach.

Refer yourself to our service

Useful links

Self-Help Resources

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can cause significant discomfort and create anxiety and low mood for those who experience it. We offer to talk therapy support for individuals who are experiencing distressing emotions due to their condition. We also closely liaise with services at Bedford Hospital in supporting patients’ needs.

Living Well with IBS (coming soon)

The service will shortly be running a living well with IBS course which will focus on helping individuals to manage their symptoms of anxiety or low mood in relation to IBS through the aid of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches. We will update once the group is running.

Other treatment options available

We offer one-to-one talking therapy support as well as mood management and anxiety-based CBT courses dependent upon the needs of the individual.

Webinars

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers a “Managing Your IBS Symptoms” webinar. The Webinar is CBT based and aims to provide some information about an IBS diagnosis, as well as helpful information in managing your symptoms.

If you are interested in attending this webinar, please visit the link below to check for the next available time and date.
(BLMK Webinar link)

Refer yourself to our service

Useful links

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers talking therapy support for individuals who have experienced distress from the impact of Covid-19. We are able to offer to talk therapy support for individuals who may have experienced long covid as well as individuals who may be experiencing anxiety or low mood as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We also liaise closely with services at Bedford Hospital in supporting patients.

Living well alongside COVID (coming soon)

The living well alongside COVID group is a CBT course designed to help individuals learn how to use CBT techniques and skills to adjust to the impacts endured by a diagnosis of long covid. More information will be available on this course shortly.

Other treatment options available for Long Covid

The Wellbeing service offers one-to-one talking therapy support as well as mood management courses dependent upon the needs of the individual.

Refer yourself to our service

Useful links

Living well with Respiratory Conditions Course

The living well with Respiratory conditions course is a Cognitive Behavioural treatment group which focuses on helping individuals to learn new ways of adapting to the challenges which may present as a result of living with a long-term health condition.

Throughout the course, you will learn to further understand the impact of your condition, the relationship between low mood and/or anxiety and our breathing, and how to overcome these difficulties using CBT strategies through a currently digital offering. If you feel this group would benefit you, please mention this to a member of our team when making your referral.

Other Treatment Options Available

We also offer one-to-one talking therapy support which can be more suited to some individuals. The service offers support for conditions such as (but not exclusively) Asthma, COPD and Bronchitis. The service also offers Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for individuals with respiratory conditions which benefits from a more flexible approach. The service also liaises with the respiratory team at Bedford Hospital on a regular basis.

Refer yourself to our service

Useful links

Image to be supplied

Who should you refer?

  • Over 17 and a half years old.
  • Experiencing common mental health problems which impact their ability to self-manage.
  • Not at risk of suicide.
  • Patients with medically unexplained symptoms and long-term conditions who are experiencing mild to moderate presentations of depression or anxiety impact their ability to self-manage.
  • Patients must be registered with a GP in Bedfordshire, excluding Luton.

How to refer

Please click the link below for the online professional referral form. Alternatively, download the PDF referral form and return the completed form to elt-tr.BedfordshireWellbeingService@nhs.net*

*Please note this email address is for healthcare professionals only. Professionals’ Referral Form