Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the questions that we get asked the most - if this page doesn’t answer your question then please contact us.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps people recognise patterns of behaviour and get to the root of problems and issues in order to achieve their potential and get more out of life and relationships. Psychotherapy involves conversations with a listener who is trained to help you make sense of, and try to change, things that are troubling you. Psychotherapy is something you take an active working part in, rather than something you are just prescribed or given, such as medication.
Sometimes people seek help for specific reasons such as eating disorders, psychosomatic conditions, obsessional behaviour, phobias and anxieties. At other times people use their therapy to address more general underlying feelings of depression or anxiety, difficulties in concentrating, dissatisfaction in work or inability to form satisfactory relationships.
A psychotherapeutic approach has been shown to be effective with a range of children and young people's mental health presentations, including depression, learning difficulties, school phobias, eating or sleeping disorders, personality problems, and trauma. Our own data and evidence-led experiences support the positive impact of psychotherapy on young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties. This in-depth level of therapy can also benefit adults as well as couples.
Both counselling and psychotherapy aim to ease emotional distress so that you feel able to get on with your life. Counselling tends to be shorter term and may focus more on immediate difficulties. Psychotherapy is usually longer-term and focused on the underlying factors and ongoing patterns that affect how you deal with life; an approach that can lead to lasting change.
Our clinicians are trained at specialist level in psychotherapy and child/adolescent development. They work within a robust clinical governance framework and maintain continually high levels of training, clinical supervision and continuing professional development. Many have had extensive previous experience in other professional fields such as psychiatry, psychology, art therapy, education, and social work. They have all received further intensive specialist training in child and adolescent therapy, couple therapy and adult psychodynamic therapy.
All of our therapists are registered with professional bodies, which include the following organisations: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy; British Psychoanalytic Council, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and Association of Child Psychotherapists.
The Bridge Foundation is a registered charity and receives limited funding. We fundraise to provide free services via our Bridge in Schools embedded schools partnerships, and also offer some commissioned services, but our Bridge Psychotherapy Service is a not-for-profit fee-paying service. These fees cover the cost of the service.
We aim to keep our waiting lists as short as possible. However there is currently a very high demand for our service and we are unfortunately not able to offer immediate appointments for most enquiries. We will discuss this with you when you first contact us. After your initial consultation, we will let you know when we are likely to be able to provide a service for you. The more flexibility you are able to offer on availability for appointments, the quicker we are likely to be able to offer you a service.
Children, teenagers, families and couples:
Therapists may see a child or young person individually, or young people or with parents or other family members. Through the relationship with the therapist in a consistent setting, the child or young person may begin to feel able to express their most troubling thoughts and feelings.
We tailor our approach to the individual child and work in an age-appropriate way. During an individual session, young children do not usually talk directly about difficult things but will communicate through play using the toys provided. Older children may also play or draw whilst teenagers are more likely to talk about their feelings. Infants and parents are seen together to think about their patterns of interaction.
At the initial consultation meeting you will be invited to talk about yourself, your difficulties and what you feel is important about your situation. You may also be asked to describe anything you have tried to do to help yourself before now, and what change you would like to see.
We may ask you about your relationships, your work and other areas of your life, past and present.
You don’t need to prepare anything for your first appointment – the important thing is to try to be as open as possible about whatever’s on your mind. The service is confidential and the therapist is here to help you.
Sessions last 50 minutes and you will meet your therapist at the same time each week.
The length of time you come depends very much on your particular difficulties and what you wish to get out of therapy. After an initial consultation, some people only need to come for a short time, if the difficulties you have been struggling with are long-standing then you may attend sessions over several months or longer. Our therapies are always tailored to suit your individual needs and this is something that can be discussed at the outset of therapy and on an ongoing basis.
Therapy with children and/or adults may be short- or long-term – from as few as two to six sessions to regular appointments over several years – depending on what you need. The ending of therapy is usually agreed by discussion between you and the therapist, although you are free to finish your therapy at any time.
Young people, children and families can suffer greatly from emotional difficulties at different stages of life. These challenges may persist, making for unhappiness at home or at work, and causing all kinds of related problems: relationship difficulties, anger, lack of self-confidence, anxiety, depression, and other more serious mental health conditions.
Whatever the problem, working with a trained therapist who understands can help make sense of difficulties and find new ways to manage them.
We offer a safe space with experienced practitioners where these problems can be shared and understood.
When we meet you at the initial consultation, we will help you to gain a fuller understanding of what is troubling you and help think with you about the best approach for you.
All your contact with us is confidential. Any information is kept securely and remains confidential. All staff adhere to a code of conduct including confidentiality.
We may ask for details of your GP, but we will not contact them without your permission and we will discuss any difficulties you may have about providing those details.
No information will be disclosed to anyone outside the agency without your permission except in certain rare situations where there is serious concern about the safety of someone. Wherever possible this will be discussed with you first.
We pride ourselves on providing the highest standard of service and we listen to feedback and take complaints seriously. Most people are satisfied with our services but if you have any concerns please speak with your therapist in the first instance. If the matter is still unresolved you can speak to our senior management team by calling our office or getting in touch via our contact us page. A copy of our Complaints Procedure is available on request.