Your first contact with First Step will be with one of our booking team. When you call, they will take some details from you and book you an assessment appointment.

Initial assessment

Assessments are usually carried out over the phone within 15 working days, and one of our practitioners will contact you at the time you arranged with the booking team. If you are unable to have a phone appointment for any reason, for example if you are hard of hearing, please let the booking team know. They can arrange a face to face appointment for you, but this may mean you wait longer to be seen.

The assessment will be a brief outline and take approximately 30 minutes. You will be asked a range of questions to help you and your practitioner to understand your current problems and ways forward.

We will explain a little about the service and our confidentiality policy before starting with the assessment.

Before your assessment appointment it is important to:

  • Make sure you are in a place that is quiet and where you will be able to have a confidential conversation without being disturbed.
  • Complete the questionnaires you were sent – this will give us a basis to work from and begin to get an idea of the problem you want help with. It can take time away from the assessment time if you need to complete it together so filling it in before hand will help us to gather plenty of information.
  • Think about what you are hoping will be different by the end of therapy (changes you want to make or therapy goals).

Following your assessment

You and the practitioner will agree on the best treatment for the problem you are struggling with. You will then be allocated to a practitioner in your area for treatment. We aim to see you as soon as possible following the initial assessment, but waiting times to start treatment may vary.

If First Step is not the best service to meet your needs we will discuss the most appropriate service to help you and can make a referral for you.

An assessment summary letter will be sent to you, and copied to your GP (and the team who referred you to First Step if appropriate). This will outline briefly the problem you are struggling with at the moment and a brief plan of the therapy that will be helpful.

Please be aware that if you have specific needs for appointments, for example, only in certain locations or at certain times of the day, you may wait longer for a suitable appointment to become available.