Helping young people make positive and lasting changes

Help for Young People

The Bristol CBT Clinic provides highly specialist CBT assessment and treatment for children and young people.

We are dedicated to only working with young people up to the age of 25 years and to offering CBT interventions which are evidence-based and highly effective. We have experience of working with a wide range of psychological difficulties including anxiety disorders, low mood and concerns related to sleep, eating, self-esteem and physical health worries. We also specialise in working directly with parents and carers of young people.

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, what we do and our physical sensations are all connected. CBT can’t remove problems, but it can be highly effective in supporting a young person to think and behave in more positive, helpful ways.

As an active, skills-based approach, CBT encourages young people to develop alternative patterns of thinking and behaviour and to practise new skills developed in therapy sessions in their everyday life. Equipped with tools, strategies and resources, the overall aim is to help the young person to become their own therapist.

CBT has been subjected to the strictest scientific testing and has been found to be highly effective for a wide range of psychological difficulties. It is for this reason that CBT is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat mental health problems.

This information leaflet from the Royal College of Psychiatry explains more.

Problems CBT can help with

Anxiety Problems

CBT is very effective for generalised anxiety, social phobia, separation anxiety, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Low Mood

CBT is recommended for treating Depression, Low self esteem and low self confidence.


CBT is strongly supported as a therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Other Conditions

Eating problems, anger management difficulties, sleep problems, body image concerns, physical health problems and health anxiety also respond well to CBT.

Getting Started

We know that starting CBT Therapy can seem like a huge step. We try to make it as easy and straight forward as possible.

CBT appointments to help for young people

1. Initial Telephone Consultation

We offer a free, no-obligation 10 minute telephone consultation for young people or their parents so that you can find out if and how Bristol CBT Clinic can help you. All telephone consultations take place with the Director of the Clinic, Dr Kate Donoghue.

“I was really anxious about calling. I kept putting it off but then finally made the call. In hindsight, I wish I’d contacted the CBT Clinic sooner. Kate was very easy to talk to. She answered all my questions. My daughter also had an opportunity to talk with Kate separately, so that she could decide for herself whether she wanted to go ahead with arranging some sessions. My daughter found the CBT to be really helpful and I’ve already recommended Bristol CBT Clinic to other parents”
Mother of 15 year old girl.

CBT appointments to help for young people

2. First Appointment

Your first assessment session will last between 60 and 75 minutes and will take place at one of the Practice Rooms in Bristol. We do however also offer assessment sessions via Zoom. This option is particularly useful for young people and parents who are living in other parts of the UK and Europe. If living in Bristol or the surrounding area, home and school / college visits can be negotiated when required.

In the initial assessment appointment, you will be invited to share information related to your current difficulties, to provide some background information and to complete some questionnaires. This information will be used to develop a treatment plan with clear, mutually agreed goals.

CBT appointments to help for young people

3. Follow up appointments.

For the first 4-6 weeks, we advise weekly appointments as this tends to bring the greatest benefits and helps with momentum when first starting CBT.

In agreement with the young person / parents, sessions may then be spread out to fortnightly or less frequently depending on progress and the individual needs of the young person. For some particular difficulties such as specific phobias and OCD, sometimes a more intensive programme of daily sessions offered over 2-3 consecutive days can result in the most significant changes in symptoms.

The time, frequency, and length of the session will always be agreed collaboratively between the young person / parents and therapist depending on clinical need, availability, and personal preferences.

There may be occasions when either joint and/or separate appointments for parents with a focus on understanding and supporting their child’s therapy, may be indicated. We can discuss and agree on an individual basis, what may be most helpful.

Face to Face CBT therapy sessions take place in Bristol. We offer face to face appointments during most days of the week as well as on some evenings and weekends. We also offer on-line sessions via Zoom. These sessions can also be arranged during most days of the week as well as on some evenings and weekends.

Appointments and Referrals

Bristol CBT Clinic accepts self-referrals and referrals from GP’s and some Health Insurance companies. A free, no-obligation 10 minute telephone consultation is available for young people / parents wishing to discuss whether the CBT Clinic is able to help.

The first appointment is a 60 to 75 minute assessment session at the end of which a treatment plan which includes clear goals, is developed and agreed with the young person and/or parent.

Thereafter, CBT intervention is offered over an agreed period of weekly/fortnightly 50 minute sessions. As CBT is a time-limited and brief psychological therapy, the average number of sessions tends to be between 6 and 20, although depending on the nature and the severity of the presenting problem, it may be more or less than this.

Appointments are available either face to face or via Zoom but ideally we like to meet face to face for the initial assessment session.

The location of the CBT Clinic is in Bristol. Sessions are held at the Oakside House, 35 Oakfield Road, Clifton, BS8 2AT. The clinic is near to public transport links. Local on-street, metered car parking is also available.

The CBT clinic is happy to discuss the suitability of all referrals. However, there are a limited number of circumstances when it may not be appropriate for the Clinic to provide therapy. This may include the following:

  • When the child’s / young person’s difficulties require a psychiatric assessment or multi-professional approach
  • Where there are safe-guarding concerns or a high level of risk, which may indicate the need for a CAMHS outreach or crisis service
  • When there is an impending or on-going Court case which requires the Clinic to provide a Court report or to act on behalf of the young person/family as an expert witness.

Cost of CBT Assessment and Therapy Sessions

The cost of the initial, face to face assessment session ranges from £110 to £125. Individual CBT therapy appointments for young people and/or parents are charged at £75 to £105 per hour.

The Clinic accepts payment for sessions by cash, cheque or bank transfer. Card payments can also be taken at the time of the appointment.

Bristol CBT Clinic has a set of terms and conditions drawn up in a Contract (which includes a cancellation policy). This will be shared with you at the time of booking.

Why Bristol CBT Clinic

CBT thank you review

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for everything that you have done for R over the past year. She is definitely back to the R we know and even when faced with a stressful or difficult situation, she is now able to deal with it and move on so much more easily. She has found the CBT sessions with you to be invaluable and I know that she is going to draw on them for years to come. Thankyou so much for helping her through a really uncertain and weird year

Parent of a 17 year old with panic and anxiety symptoms (December 2020)

Get in touch with us today

If you are wondering if the CBT Clinic can help you, we offer a free, no-obligation 10 minute telephone consultation for young people or their parents.