Mindsmatter offer a variety of different talking treatments to suit your needs. We will arrange a friendly telephone assessment with you to discuss your current difficulties and talk about what might work best for you.

We offer the following types of therapy and treatment:

  • Courses and Groups – these are local and quick to access (currently online only and dependent on locality due to Coronavirus restrictions)
  • One-to-one sessions – (currently offered by telephone or video consultation)
  • Online Therapy Programmes – these are quick to access and fit around your lifestyle.

It is important to consider the following in order to decide whether treatment is right for you at this time:

  • Can you commit to treatment sessions and complete between-session tasks outside of appointments?
  • Do you use alcohol and/or other drugs to manage your emotions? If so, depending on the amounts being used it may be necessary to safely reduce before starting treatment. This is because alcohol and other drug use can hinder the effectiveness of treatment
  • With support, are you able to commit to focussing on addressing your problem(s) at this point in time?

If you are going to start a course of treatment, it would be useful if you could consider the following before your first appointment:

  • What you would like to have gained by the end of your treatment and therefore what would be most useful to focus on?
  • If you have had treatment before what was helpful about it and / or was there anything you wanted or needed to be different?
  • For your current course of treatment what would help you to make the most of it?

A Telephone Assessment will be completed by one of our trained health professionals. The call is to gather information to help you and the health professional decide if brief therapy is right for you. What you say in the call will be kept confidential. This will only be shared with your GP or other services if there are any risks to yourself or others.

It is essential that you are able to take the call in a private place and one that is free from distraction. We are unable to have the call if you are driving (even if using hands-free technology). You will be asked questions that may require talking about sensitive information. This is to help us make sure we are the right service for you and to reduce the risk of harm.

We do not have your medical or GP records so we may ask you to tell us things you have already told other health professionals. The kind of things we will ask you include:

  • Whether there are risks to yourself or others (we may ask sensitive questions about whether you have ever deliberately hurt yourself or other people, or whether you have thoughts like this at the moment)
  • Whether you have ever experienced domestic violence or abuse (previously or presently). If you have children, we will ask if you are happy to share their names and dates of birth. Sharing this information is voluntary, but we do ask it to make sure that we are considering everyone’s needs in the assessment.
  • Details of any other caring responsibilities you may have.
  • Whether you use drugs or alcohol, and if so, the impact of this.

We appreciate that for some people, these can be difficult and upsetting questions to have to think about. The purpose of these is to make sure we are able to identify the best and most appropriate care for you. Our therapy works when you and the therapist are working towards a common goal, so it will be helpful if you can identify any goals you wish to focus on prior to the call.

Brief therapy is not always the most suitable treatment option. If this is the case, we will advise and direct you to other local services that may better suit your needs. If you are unable to make this appointment, you must contact our office (number on the letter) if you want to rearrange.

Mindsmatter offer a range of interactive and non-interactive groups and courses covering a variety of different topics. All our courses and groups are free to access. These can vary in different locations across Lancashire, but you can speak to a clinician during your telephone assessment to see what is available where you live. Often people can shy away from attending a course, but there are several benefits to giving one a go.

Please note: all our courses are able to run during the Coronavirus pandemic - those that are available will be delivered online for the foreseeable future.

You can meet other people who may be experiencing something similar. Often we can isolate ourselves or pretend we are fine around others (this can be exhausting). Attending a group treatment gives you the opportunity to be around others who know what stress, depression and anxiety is like and can make you feel less alone as well as help boost your confidence.

Usually due to the nature of the courses we can go through more information and coping skills than in regular one-to-one sessions, so you can learn even more ways to help yourself.

Some of us might not feel ready to open up too much about what’s going on, or maybe we just don’t know how to explain it. Being able to attend a course will mean that the pressure is not on you to talk about your problems in depth. If you attend an interactive course, you will be encouraged to participate in the discussions to get the most out of it, but you won’t be asked to explore your problems in detail or share anything personal that you do not wish to.

Like in all our treatment sessions, we ask you to complete a questionnaire to see how things are affecting you. At the end of the courses we can see that many people who attend are scoring themselves lower and not experiencing as many symptoms as they were prior to attending.

Below we want to provide you with some information to help prepare you to start your chosen course.  For online groups and courses, you will be sent a Microsoft Teams link via email or text before the course starts. 

Although connecting online is a new way of meeting for psychological therapy, the available evidence suggests that it is as effective as traditional therapy.

If you have any problems accessing this link or you need support to join the online programme please contact your local Mindsmatter team a week before the course is due to start so that we can get you booked in for a tech check!

What to expect from your online workshop

Who will be there?

  • There will usually be 2 facilitators running the course
    • Please feel free to ask any questions during the course
    • If you need to speak to facilitators afterwards, they will advise you on how to reach them
  • There may also be a 3rd facilitator in the background to ensure the smooth running on the course and be on hand if needed
  • The course size may vary but would usually be a minimum of 10 people

How often are the sessions?

  • After your telephone assessment you will have been sent a letter with the dates and times of your course
  • There will be comfort breaks during each course
  • As each session will cover different topics, it is important to attend every session to get the most out of your course
    • If you know you will miss a session, please let the course facilitators know as soon as possible
    • If you miss more than 2 sessions, and you do not get in touch with the service, we will assume you no longer wish for support and your referral will be closed
  • If you no longer feel the workshop chosen is right for you, please get in touch with your local Mindsmatter team to discuss alternative treatment


  • Before every session you will be sent an online questionnaire to complete
  • These questionnaires help us understand how your difficulties may be affecting you day to day and how treatment can target these areas
  • If you do not complete a questionnaire in advance, a facilitator will contact you to remind you to do this after the course


  • Resources from the course will be emailed to you separately by your course facilitator
  • Depending on the type of course you are attending, these may be sent out all at once or week by week before each session

Managing My Own Safety:

  • It is important that you are able to manage your own safety during the course
    • If you feel your thoughts of harm or suicide are increasing, please speak to a course facilitator as soon as possible
    • If you are in need of urgent support, please click the red 'I need urgent help' button at the top right of our website.
  • Please ensure your contact details are up to date
    • We may need to contact you during the course if we are concerned about your safety or need to reach you to discuss treatment
  • If you find the session too distressing and you wish to leave we understand this
    • We will follow this up with a phone call check in with you after the course session

Technical Information:

  • Please ensure you have a private confidential space to attend the course
    • It is important that you and the other workshop members feel safe to speak and will not be overheard by people in your home that are not in the group
    • Please wear headphones if you are in a shared space/house
    • Please ensure you will not be disturbed during the course
    • Please ensure you will have stable internet access during the course
    • Wherever possible, please use a full monitor – i.e. desktop computer/tablet/laptop. If a smart phone is the only available option, please ensure it is fixed on a stable base so it is not moving around
  • It is important to participate as much as possible during the course as this involvement will help you work through the treatment offered
    • Please turn your video cameras on during the course so that facilitators and other group members can interact with you
    • We ask that you mute your audio when not speaking to eliminate any background noise
      • The group facilitator may mute you if you forget; this is not personal, but done to ensure we have a limit to background noise, so everyone can hear and we only have one person talking at once
  • If you get cut off, or experience technical/connection difficulties, please continue to try to reconnect to the session
    • If you are unable to reconnect call your local Mindsmatter admin team and admin can email through to group facilitators


  • To ensure your privacy, please use your first name and first letter of surname only (no full surnames/email addresses etc) when you log on to Microsoft Teams
    • Your email address will be visible, you may wish to use a non-identifying email if you prefer (please let facilitators know so they can update your contact details)
  • Under no circumstances should you record sessions or share information disclosed by other group members (including staff) outside of the group, and no discussion of the group on social media
  • Although we will advise participants to respect confidentiality and will take action if this is known to be breached, participants need to be aware that the Mindsmatter cannot guarantee confidentiality or closely monitor the behaviour of group participants in their own homes
  • As a participant you are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the group
    • To do this, please ensure that you use a private room on your own so that other members of your household do not hear other group members talking
    • For this reason, please also use headphones

In order to attend my chosen workshop or course, I give my consent to the following:

  • I agree that I will not record these sessions or share any content on the internet or social media e.g. Facebook
  • I understand that if there are technical problems my group facilitator will contact me on the phone number I have provided
  • I will contact the group facilitators via the admin team number given and not through any email addresses visible in the course
  • I have the details of how to contact the group leaders if I need a quick response
  • I am aware of who to contact if I require help in a crisis
  • I will use a private room on my own, and use headphones so that other members of my household do not hear other group members talking
  • I understand that while Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust will take reasonable steps to ensure security of information in the group, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed and I am aware of the potential risks
  • I have read and agree with the above statements and give my consent to take part in therapy sessions online using Microsoft teams


If you would like to discuss any of the above or book a technical check with a group facilitator please contact your local Mindsmatter team as soon as possible before the course is due to start.

Find out more about the courses and groups we offer

What is the Stress Control course?

It’s a 6 week course that will help you learn how to manage stress. It will teach you how to reduce common stress-related problems including: anxiety and worry, low mood, panic, poor sleep or loss of confidence.

It’s based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques, combining stress management with Mindfulness and Positive Psychology strategies to boost wellbeing.

What will the course sessions be like?

Sessions are weekly and last for 90 minutes with a 10 minute break. It’s non-interactive, so you won’t be asked to talk in front of other people. Classes are supported by slideshow presentations, online hand-outs (paper copies available upon request), video, audio and relaxation and mindfulness tracks Each session will look at a different aspect of stress and link together to help you become your own therapist!


  • Session 1: what is stress?
  • Session 2: controlling your body
  • Session 3: controlling your thoughts
  • Session 4: controlling your actions
  • Session 5: controlling panic feelings and getting a good night’s sleep
  • Session 6: wellbeing and controlling the future

What is the Wellbeing Workshop?

An interactive safe, non-judgemental course over 6 weeks that will help you learn how to cope with anxiety, stress and depression and improve your overall wellbeing.

The course is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques and each session will look at different things that can affect our wellbeing and we will teach you coping strategies.

What will the course sessions be like?

Sessions are weekly and last for 2 hours with a 10 minute break. Although the Wellbeing Workshop is an interactive course, it is not a therapy group and you won’t be asked to disclose any personal details about yourself or your situation.

We will never make you talk if you don’t want to, however we will encourage you to join in the discussions so you can get the most out of the course. Conversations will focus on coping strategies and practicing the techniques. Sometimes, we might get you into smaller groups to work through and practice particular skills - this gives you the chance to give techniques a go and ask questions. Classes are supported by slideshow presentations, weekly paper hand-outs, video, audio and relaxation and mindfulness tracks.


  • SESSION 1: Getting Started
  • SESSION 2: Anxiety and Graded Exposure
  • SESSION 3: Worry, Uncertainty
  • SESSION 4: Depression, Motivation, Exercise, Food and Mood
  • SESSION 5: Thought Challenging
  • SESSION 6: Self Esteem and Assertiveness Skills
  • SESSION 7: Sleep and Relapse Prevention

Course aimed for people with a persistent long term condition causing them mental distress.

Giving them a psychological toolkit to reduce stress, anxiety and low mood 

Week 1 – Common experiences relating to the persistent long term conditions. Understanding your unhelpful cycle and the start of building your psychological toolkit.
Week 2 – Good Sleep and relaxation techniques
Week 3 – Managing the good, bad and the ugly days! Boom and Bust and how to recognise it.
Week 4 – My Long Term Condition (LTC) and me! How to PACE
Week 5 –Worrying and Anxiety- Understanding practical vs hypothetical
Week 6– Putting your LTC psychological Kit together

What is the Overcoming Your Fears Workshop?

An 8 week interactive group with an opportunity for a 1:1 follow up session, this course offers the benefit of having support and encouragement from other members, and sharing helpful coping techniques.

Homework is set after each session to help build on what has been learnt and apply the skills to daily life.

The course is helpful for people who have symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder, OCD, phobias, social anxiety, health anxiety and who are motivated to change.

What is the Understanding Trauma Workshop?

It’s a 4 week workshop giving knowledge and understanding of trauma and how trauma affects us. You will gain information and advice on signs, symptoms and techniques, strategies and resources to help you. You will not be asked to share anything about the traumas you have experienced

Goal Difference is an 8 week interactive Men’s peer support, self-development group. We can help you better understand common problems and learn self-management strategies.


Sessions include:

#1 Goal Setting & Supporters.

#2 Depression. Values. Rumination.

#3 Anxiety. Fight & Flight. Worry. Thinking Habits.

#4 Maintenance. Safety Behaviours. Exposure.

#5 Problem Solving. Sleep.

#6 Stress Management. Panic. Hyperventilation. Relaxation.

#7 Maximising conversations: Communication styles.

#8 Imagery. Relapse Prevention. Follow on support.

Feedback from previous attendees of our courses and groups 

“I enjoyed the course and felt it was relevant to the problems I had experienced. I now feel better equipped to deal with these problems and any future problems as a result of the processes I learnt on the course.”

“I found this course very helpful for me to recognise anxiety and better ways of dealing with it.”

“I have found the course to be very useful as it gives added structure to my weekly routine whilst providing useful strategies for future progress.”

“At first I was very nervous but as the weeks went by I got involved more and more and I was very happy to be part of a great team at the sessions. I have enjoyed my time on the course very much.”

“When I started I was going through a tough time. I was considering suicide but the staff and the course saved me. I feel so much better now and I see a future."

One to one treatment

What is a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner?

  • A Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) will offer guided self-help and work with you to gain a better understanding of your difficulties
  • Support you to identify unhelpful thoughts, habits and behaviours which may be contributing to how you feel
  • Offer ways to change these in order to improve your mood and build on your own coping strategies
  • Support you to engage with self-help materials, proven to be effective in reducing low mood and anxiety, in order to improve your wellbeing
  • Encourage you to practice learning from each session, which will require some commitment but you will have the skills to use going forward in your life
  • Signpost you to other helpful agencies and services if appropriate

PWP sessions can help with:

  • Low mood and poor motivation
  • Anxiety, worry and feeling overwhelmed
  • Panic and avoidance, helping you gradually face your fear
  • Understanding and challenging unhelpful thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Confidence and assertiveness
  • Sleep problems

What will PWP treatment involve?

PWP treatment is brief, time limited and up to six sessions, focusing on the specific strategies that will be the most beneficial for you.

Typically sessions tend to be fortnightly, but may vary if felt therapeutically beneficial.

You will be asked to complete tasks in between sessions to help you implement new coping strategies into your life, practising these skills regularly will help you manage stress after treatment ends.

What is CBT?

CBT can help you understand your problem(s) and why they may persist.

  • The ‘C’ in CBT refers to the term ‘cognitive’. Within this type of therapy there is a focus on identifying our unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and thinking processes and working to try to adjust them
  • The ‘B’ in CBT refers to the term ‘behavioural’ and again, within this type of therapy there is a focus on acknowledging what behaviours might be unhelpful to ourselves in the long term and to trying out and practicing alternatives

CBT is based on the concept that our thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physical sensations are all connected so by modifying some of our thoughts and behaviours we can bring about improvements in the distressing emotions and physical sensations we experience.

CBT can help with:

  • Depression - which can be characterised by negative thoughts, loss of interest, low mood, low motivation and reduced activity levels
  • Agoraphobia – fearing being in situations that it might be difficult to get out of and/ or where help might not be available when wanted
  • Being very focussed on perceived flaws in your appearance – a feature of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • Feeling anxious and worrying about lots of different things (may be generalised anxiety disorder (GAD))
  • Fears, worrying, checking, seeking reassurance, excessive reading or avoidance of information in relation to health – common elements of health anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – intrusive, wanted thoughts and compulsive behaviours that we think we must do
  • Fears about having panic attacks (potentially panic disorder)
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) usually characterised by flashbacks to historical events that were traumatic
  • Significant fears of being around and/ or interacting with other people and being judged negatively which could be social anxiety disorder
  • Phobias where there are specific and strong fears of certain things
  • Psychological distress which is linked with physical health problems

What will CBT involve?

  • Goals will be discussed and the focus of the work will be agreed collaboratively in a structured way
  • You may be asked to complete in between session tasks to help you implement new coping strategies into your life, practising these skills regularly will help you manage stress after treatment ends
  • CBT therapy is a brief, time limited approach, and is offered as 6 sessions initially, and can then be reviewed.  Each session will usually be weekly and 50 minutes long, but this may change as treatment progresses.

What is counselling?

  • It is a talking therapy with a qualified counsellor who will provide a safe space to help you to talk through, begin to understand and come to terms with what is troubling you and how best to manage more effectively
  • It’s about helping you to express and explore your feelings in a safe and confidential space
  • Provides an opportunity to work towards living your life in a way that is most meaningful and satisfying to you

Counselling can help with:

  • Depression (mild to moderate)
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Bereavement, grief and loss (prolonger reaction)
  • Adjustment to life events - illness, career/job related
  • Low self esteem
  • Mild anxiety related issues
  • Mild trauma related issues

What will counselling involve?

  • The counselling offered is a NICE recommended brief and time limited of up to 8 sessions which will be approximately up to 50 minutes each and usually weekly
  • Counselling can be accessed face to face, online or by telephone
  • Reflect upon and process what you have explored in sessions in the time between sessions
  • There might be times when your counsellor may suggest some reading, activity, or self-help exercises that could be helpful for you.

What is SilverCloud?

An online programme that is designed to help you learn techniques to overcome symptoms of low mood and anxiety.

It’s a flexible programme that you can access anywhere, whether at home, work or elsewhere - you can use it on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

The idea of this programme is that you can work at your own pace, with regular reviews from your therapist who can help to guide and motivate you through the programme. It consists of evidence-based techniques based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which are recognised to have a positive impact on low mood and anxiety.

How does it work?

If our online programme is suitable for you we will set you up on the system and then you’ll have instant access to the support you need.

  • You will have up to 6 online reviews with your supporter approximately every two weeks who will monitor your progress on the programme
  • You can leave comments for your supporter who will pick these up at your review, and they will leave comments and suggestions of what might be helpful for you to work on
  • You do not need to be online at the time of the reviews, but the next time you log on after a review, you will be asked to complete the questionnaires that will help us assess your current mood

Most people complete the programme anywhere between 6 - 12 weeks. Once you have finished your reviews with your supporter, you will continue to have access to SilverCloud for a further 12 months should you need a recap on the tools and techniques you have learnt.

The software has state of the art technology, and includes easy to follow programmes with:

  • Video clips
  • Interactive quizzes
  • A journal
  • Audio guided exercises