Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) covers some of the different information about NHS Talking Therapies Berkshire.

Call 0300 365 2000 or email talkingtherapies@berkshire.nhs.uk

What is Talking Therapies?

Talking Therapies is our friendly and approachable NHS service that offers support if you’re coping with challenges like depression, stress, anxiety or phobias. 

Can I access Talking Therapies?

Talking Therapies is available to adults of all ages who are aged 17 and older, registered with a GP in Berkshire. You can refer yourself into our service, or your GP can refer you. We have no upper age limit.

We offer treatment from various locations across Reading, Wokingham, Newbury, Slough, Bracknell, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead. 

What if I’m registered with a GP outside of the Berkshire area?

If you would like to have treatment with Talking Therapies but you’re registered to a GP outside of Berkshire, you’ll need to ask them to refer you to our service. You’ll also need to be willing to travel to Berkshire for appointments if needed. 

Do I have to pay?

Talking Therapies is a free-to-access NHS service. We don’t charge for consultations, therapy or workshops.

How can I contact Talking Therapies?

If you would like to talk to someone about seeking help you can refer yourself to Talking Therapies.

Refer yourself to Talking Therapies

We’re available for contact 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 5pm on Fridays.

If you need to contact us outside of these times, you can still email our team but they will not respond until the next working day.

Unfortunately, we’re not available at the weekends and bank holidays.

Call 0300 365 2000

Email   talkingtherapies@berkshire.nhs.uk

Find out how to get a GP referral (opens new browser tab)

What if English isn’t my first language?

To make sure Talking Therapies is accessible to everyone in Berkshire, we offer a translation and interpreter service.

When you contact us, please tell us which language you prefer to use

Call 0300 365 2000 

How can I get help for someone else?

If you’re concerned about a friend or a family member, you can find information and support for them on our website

Find out how to support someone here (opens new browser tab)

Can I make a referral for a friend or relative?

Unfortunately all referrals need to be made by the individual concerned or by their GP, due to confidentiality and consent.

However if the person doesn’t want to speak to our therapists directly, but does want to refer to our service, you can call on their behalf as long as they have given their full consent. Once consent is received you can complete their full referral details.  

I need help now

If you’re feeling distressed or anxious, the important thing is to stay calm.

If there’s someone you can talk to – a family member, a friend or a neighbour – ask if you can spend a few moments with them to help you keep calm.

If you or anyone else is in immediate danger or harm, please call 999.

If you urgently need medical help or advice, but it’s not life threatening, please call NHS 111.

If you want to talk to someone about how you feel, what you’re experiencing or how to deal with someone else's behaviour, you can contact the Samaritans.

Call 116 123

Visit the Samaritans website (opens new browser tab)

Email jo@samaritans.org

Contact Samaritans using next Generation Text (NGT) service 

What should I do if I’m concerned about someone’s safety?

If you’re concerned for someone’s safety and it’s an emergency, please call 999.

If you urgently need medical help or advice, but it’s not life threatening, please call NHS 111.

What types of conditions and disorders does Talking Therapies offer support for?

Talking Therapies is an NHS service that offers guidance and support to people aged 17 and over registered with a GP in Berkshire, experiencing a mental health condition or challenge such as:

  • Depression including Post Natal Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Stress
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Anxiety disorders, including:
    • General anxiety disorder
    • Specific phobias
    • Panic Attacks and Panic Disorders
    • Social Anxiety
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Health anxiety

We can also guide you if you’re coping with mental health challenges caused by a long-term condition, such as diabetes, lung conditions and coronary heart disease (CHD).

We may recommend another service if we feel that you might benefit from their support. 

What treatments do you offer?

We offer a variety of different treatment options including:

In addition we may also be to offer Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Behavioural Couples Therapy for Depression, depending on availability and your needs.

Our treatments are delivered in a variety of ways, including online, calls, video consultation or face to face in individual or group sessions.

The treatments we provide will depend on your needs. Once you’ve had your Wellbeing Assessment, we’ll talk you through the different options we think would help you the most.

Find more information about the treatments we offer (opens new browser tab)

What should I expect from my first appointment?

Your first appointment will be a Wellbeing Assessment and will involve a chat with one of our practitioners, either by call or video conversation.

This will take about 40 minutes. They’ll listen to the challenges you’re going through, and talk to you about the type of support we can provide.

During your appointment you will be asked to complete a questionnaire depending on what it is you are experiencing, it might be helpful to familiarise yourself with it first.

Read a copy of the Are you depressed (PHQ9) and Are you anxious (GAD7) questions (pdf)

Visit our What to Expect page to find out more 

What is the wait time for treatment?

The wait time for treatment can vary depending on a variety of factors such as your locality and treatment needed. Once you have referred into the service and we have determined your treatment we will be able to give you an approximate waiting time. 

How long are treatment sessions?

The length of treatment sessions will vary depending on the treatment you’re offered. One-to-one appointments could last from 30 to 50 minutes, whereas group sessions are 90 minutes. 

What questions will I be asked?

Your Wellbeing Assessment will generally take about 40 minutes. We’ll ask you to complete two questionnaires, which will help us understand the difficulties you’re having, and how we may be able to best support you.

Read a copy of the Are you depressed (PHQ9) and Are you anxious (GAD7) questions (pdf)

We’ll also ask you to complete these questionnaires before each appointment, to help us and you keep track of your progress.

In both questionnaires, you will need to answer each question with “not at all,” “several days,” “more than half the days,” and “nearly every day”.

Depending on your responses, a final score will be given. This score will help our team to decide what support you may need.

If you have a long-term physical health condition we may ask you to complete an additional questionnaire.   

Can I have an evening appointment?

Your first Wellbeing Assessment appointment will be a daytime appointment. Our appointment times are usually between 8am-6pm, but evening appointments are available via phone, video consultation and online.

During your appointment with your allocated therapist you can discuss future treatment times. 

What if I can't make my appointment?

Berkshire residents attended over 106,000 appointments with us last year.

Keeping to your scheduled appointment helps you get the support you need more quickly so you can start feeling better about your mental health.

If you can’t attend, please let us know by calling 0300 365 2000 (option 2) or emailing us at talkingtherapies@berkshire.nhs.uk.

Due to the high demand for our services, we ask that you give us least two working days' notice to cancel so that we can try to offer your slot to someone else.

If you repeatedly book appointments and either cancel or don’t attend we may transfer your care back to your GP.

Can I come along to therapy with my friend or relative?

This will have to be decided on a case by case basis with your therapist, and the type of therapy support you're receiving. 

Who will know about my treatment?

We will let your GP know you have been in contact with us as they are the main health professional responsible for your care.

NHS Talking Therapies Berkshire takes confidentiality very seriously. Other than your GP, the information you share with us will not be shared without your permission unless:

  • We have concerns relating to harm to yourself or others
  • We identify there may be risk to children or vulnerable adults (including disclosures of historical abuse and/or risk to others).
  • You are under 18 years old, we may inform your parent(s) and/or legal guardian of your engagement with NHS Talking Therapies in case of safeguarding or risk concerns.

If you would like a family member, carer or friend to be involved in your treatment, please mention this to your therapist and discuss arrangements for their involvement.

If you are accessing one of our practical support services (Wellbeing Service, Employment Service and/or HealthMakers) they will have access to your NHS Talking Therapies notes in order to be able to provide the best care.



How NHS Berkshire Talking Therapies uses your information

We record your personal health information including your assessments, results of tests and your answers to questionnaires so that we can help you, now and in the future.

The information collected is stored on our secure database, called IAPTus, and may be used to help us with our service improvement and clinical audits. All these uses are described as providing direct care to you.

We sometimes use anonymous or group data generated from our clinical system IAPTus for research projects and/or publications; whenever we do this, your data will not be identifiable to you or anyone else.

If your therapist intends to record your session or publish your identifiable information, they will ask for your explicit consent to process your data in this way, which you can decline.

It will not affect your care or the treatment you are offered in any way if you decline to be recorded for these purposes.

Find out more

Visit the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust website to read our privacy notice and find out more about how we use your information (opens in new browser tab)