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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
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Help with depression and anxiety - Birmingham Healthy Minds

What we provide

Birmingham Healthy Minds is an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. We provide therapies in line with recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). 

The main therapy we offer is CBT.

CBT is based on the understanding that there are links between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. When we feel low or anxious, our thoughts and behaviours can change, often in a way that only makes us feel worse. This can trap you in a vicious cycle. CBT therefore aims to change damaging thoughts and behaviours to break this cycle.

Unlike other talking therapies, for example counselling, CBT mostly focuses on your current problems rather than on the past. Please see our page on when our service might not be best for you for further information – what we provide support for.

  • Face-to-face (currently paused due to the coronavirus outbreak), over the telephone or over video call


  • Guided self-help 
  • If this is the first time you have accessed therapy and/or your symptoms are mild to moderate, we are likely to offer you the guided self-help approach first.
  • This approach involves working alongside a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) who will guide you through self-help material specific to your difficulties. This will help you develop an understanding about your difficulties, what is maintaining them, and various strategies to help manage them. This is all based on principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  • Sessions are typically completed every two weeks and you can be offered up to six 30-minute appointments. These can be completed over the telephone or face-to-face.
  • PWPs are also able to offer guided self-help online via a platform called SilverCloud. You will be assigned a program based on your main problem. This will contain a variety of modules you can work through to develop your understanding of your difficulties and learn ways to manage them. You are able to leave messages for your assigned PWP and they will typically review your progress every two weeks. During these reviews they will leave you a message on SilverCloud to guide you and answer any questions you have.


  • Here are some examples of what a PWP can help you with:


  • Low mood
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Stress
  • Phobia
  • Panic
  • Mild-moderate OCD symptoms
  • Healthy anxiety
  • Managing the impact of a long term condition on mental health difficulties


  • In groups* 
  • Group therapy aims to develop your understand your difficulties, become comfortable interacting with others and find solutions and coping strategies for how to overcome your problems.


Whilst you will get the most of a group by being an active member, there is no pressure to talk about anything you do not feel comfortable with.

The groups are led by two practitioners. Our PWPs offer the following groups:

  • Wellbeing Workshop
  • Managing Stress
  • Staying Well at Work
  • Introduction to CBT

These groups run for 4-6 weeks and are two hours each time.

Our Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists offer the following groups:

  • Introduction to CBT for Trauma
  • Anxiety Group
  • Anger Group
  • Depression Group
  • OCD Group


These groups run for eight weeks and are two hours each time.

*Currently all face-to-face groups have been paused due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, we are running the Wellbeing Workshop by Zoom.

Trauma-focused CBT is an evidence-based, NICE recommended treatment for symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This therapy can help to change the distressing thoughts associated with the traumatic event and reduce the intense negative emotions that are caused by the trauma by facing up to the memories in a planned ways.

EMDR is an evidence-based, NICE recommended treatment for symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EMDR is an effective treatment to reduce re-experiencing symptoms linked to PTSD such as nightmares and flashbacks. The main focus of the treatment is to enable the processing distressing memories through bi-lateral stimulation of the brain. The different sense can be utilised to enable processing, e.g. eye movements, touch or sounds. Another focus for EMDR is to enable the client to regain functioning in daily life.

We can spend a lot of energy focusing on things that have happened in the past and predicting the future. We spend time on ‘automatic pilot’ mode. For example, have you ever driven several miles and then not be able to recall that part of the journey? Mindfulness is the opposite of this. It is a technique that allows us to bring our mind into the present moment, and if we find difficulty there, be able to manage the problems without trying to fight with it.

This group runs for eight consecutive weeks and is two hours each time.

You can check out our mindfulness podcasts here 

CFT is a time-limited, focused, evidence-based approach to help counter self-criticism and feelings of guilt and shame. The main goal is to develop self-compassion, kindness and nurture toward yourself which has a positive impact on confidence and mood.

This group runs for 12 weeks and is two hours each time.

IPT is structured, time-limited therapy for the treatment of depression.

IPT considers the impact of relationship difficulties on depressed mood. Interpersonal problems can persist and worsen over time as depressed mood can cause us to withdraw from others and cause symptoms such as irritability and low self-esteem. Therefore, both interpersonal issues and depressive symptoms are maintained.

IPT works to resolve current relationship problems and enable the individual to feel more connected to others and maintain positive relationships. This can therefore improve the depression. 

DIT is an approach to treating psychological distress which shows how our difficulties are caused and maintained by the way we relate to others. The therapist works with the client to bring to light thoughts and feelings which are present in relationships without being fully recognised or accepted. As the person’s awareness of their feelings and relationship patterns improve they may feel less distressed and more able to make different choices in their life. 

CBT