What is counselling psychology?

Counselling psychology works with a variety of mental health problems regarding life issues, including eating disorders related to mental health problems.

Counselling psychology works with the individual's unique personal experience to help support their recovery and reduce anxiety and distress. The Bridge provides counselling psychology sessions to adults aged 13-25.

What does counselling psychology involve?

As part of the treatment here at The Bridge, each child / adult will have weekly one-to-one counselling psychology sessions. The therapy sessions are based on the following evidence-based therapies: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT, CBT-E), mindfulness based CBT and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT).

What role does counselling psychology play in a multidisciplinary eating disorder service?

The counselling psychologist at The Bridge plays a pivotal role within our multidisciplinary team. Counselling psychology uses the findings from other professionals and works closely with the dietitians and mental health nurses to gain a better understanding of the person and their experiences relating to their eating disorder. They provide support for the children and adults throughout their whole recovery and help develop their views towards their diet in order to alleviate any distress that may remain.

Is counselling psychology evidence-based?

All counselling psychology approaches are evidence-based, meaning that research has shown that they are effective in treating a range of different issues and are particularly useful in supporting children and adults with eating disorders.

What happens during the first counselling psychology session?

The first counselling psychology session involves an initial assessment with the psychologist and this will be an opportunity to assess the person’s suitability for therapy sessions. It will also involve an in depth assessment of risk and mental health functioning. The psychologist will assess the person with the eating disorder by looking at the person’s behaviours, thoughts and emotions. This information will determine the formulation process which emerges in subsequent sessions. Wellbeing questionnaires will also be used in the initial assessment, and in subsequent sessions, to monitor progress and recovery.

What happens during follow up counselling psychology sessions?

In sessions one to six, a formulation being in the form of a map, letter or diagram, is co-created with the person, and it is a document which communicates a hypothesis on the nature of the eating disorder and why it emerged. The formulation will also then provide a framework for developing the most suitable treatment approach to the person’s needs. Subsequent sessions are then tailored to respond flexibly to the person’s situation and also tailored to reflect on the initial formulations created in prior sessions.

The person will be taught specific cognitive, emotional and behavioural techniques and will be encouraged to use them between weekly sessions. They are then asked to provide a weekly review of these techniques in every session. The person will also have ample opportunity within every session to discuss how they experience therapy and importantly have the role of amending interventions depending on this feedback.

What are the benefits of working with a counselling psychologist?

All sessions will be warm, supportive and person-led. Weekly counselling psychology sessions can benefit the person by focusing on the healthy aspects and strengths of the person, the sessions will build on these traits in order to promote positive focus. Counselling psychology will also be able to pinpoint the source of the anxiety and any external stressors, this will benefit the person as we will aim to diminish these factors in order to support recovery. By providing the person with a safe space to get help from a professional, is an important aspect in aiding their recovery as they have an outlet that is trustworthy.


Counselling psychology focuses on the person's individual experiences in order to pinpoint and reduce the causes of their eating disorder. Counselling psychology will allow the individual an outlet for them to voice their thoughts and experiences in a safe space. The counselling psychology sessions are evidence based and focus ultimately on progress and recovery.

Our team can help you to live a normal and healthy life outside of your treatment. We always work with you at the centre of our service, and treatment will be at a pace to suit you. If you want help with any of the issues discussed then please discuss with your parent or carer if required, or contact us.

Are you worried about a loved one?

If you're worried that someone close to you has an eating disorder, get in touch with us. We encourage that you talk with your loved one to see if they recognise or understand their eating behaviours.

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Do you need help yourself?

The first step to recovery takes courage, openness and honesty. Recognising that you need help with an eating disorder is a substantial achievement.

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All our therapists are here to listen to you and offer support so that we can decide the best treatment plan for you.

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