Low Intensity Groups

This section is for discussion relating to the Layard report, and subsequent schemes like Improving Access to Psychological Therapies where lower intensity inteventions are offered in primary care
Post Reply
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:11 pm

Low Intensity Groups

Post by Orangeade31 »

Hello everyone,

I'm currently a PWP trainee in a relatively new service. The service is looking to branch out into groups and we are having a team meeting soon to discuss ideas. Although I'm a trainee and I think it probably best to learn to walk before I run, I am keen to contribute to the meeting and be involved in service development. I've done a little research on IAPT approved groups but with little success.

Has anyone else's services conducted group sessions, and if so, what kind of groups did you run, were they successful, what problems did you encounter?

Any hints, tips or gentle shoves in the right direction would be appreciated :) Cheers!
User avatar
Team Member
Posts: 745
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: North-West England

Re: Low Intensity Groups

Post by Will »

I've been involved in a few pilots and am currently trying to get a few things off the ground.

Tips from my experience:

- Keep it positive. A focus on mental health/depression/worry/stress seems unpopular.
- Consider how people will access it - do you accept self referrals, just from PWPS, GPs? Consider the impact on appropriateness / complexity / risk, but also think about whether you offer people in groups 1-1 as well.
- Keep it brief. The longer the programme, the higher the drop out rate. We're aiming for four sessions.
- Expect a high drop out rate and invite more participants rather than less.
- Allow time for discussion but keep it structured with a focus on techniques (relaxation and mindfulness always work nicely)
- Case study discussion goes down well.
- Think about how you will assess /manage risk (we use the PHQ, and make clear in an initial spiel that people can talk to a facilitator if they need to, we also discuss confidentiality limits).
- Have at least two staff running it.
- Think about using community venues in a central, accessible location (on a bus route!).
- Think about how you'll promote it to patients, referrers.
- Set goals and homework as you would in 1-1 work and follow up on these.
- Look at what's been done already. Stresspac served as a useful starting point for our group.
- Get patients to complete GAD/PHQs and record as contacts but also use these to feedback clinical change to participants.

Hope that is of some use.

Ponderings and wonderings in 140 characters - @willcurvis
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:13 am

Re: Low Intensity Groups

Post by LIWY »

If anyone from your service is going to the BABCP conference, there will be a symposia there from Sutton and Merton IAPT
"Low Intensity Interventions in IAPT: Improving Efficacy by Group Based Formats "
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:50 pm

Re: Low Intensity Groups

Post by StarSky »

Our service offers a 5 week course on how to beat anxiety and depression. We make it quite clear that it's not group therapy and that people aren't expected to make personal disclosures to a group of people. It's very relaxed and informal and the aim is to provide people with useful information and teach them techniques that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
There are opportunities for smaller group discussions about the techniques and we might ask generally for people's views, but it's much more learning than sharing.

We've been running them for 9 months now in the daytime and the evening and they've gone really well so far. Most people (around 15) go to every session. We're currently looking at introducing step 2.5 groups - with a CBT therapist and a PWP. I suppose they will be more like group therapy.
Post Reply