Sarah Foran-Kent, BABCP, CBT, DBT, Qualified Trauma Specialist
96 Northgate Street
A warm, friendly service based in Chester, providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to adults and children experiencing depression, anxiety, and trauma.
Imagine beginning each day knowing that you are not only able to cope, but to thrive.
I will help you make a value led life your reality, right now.
I am a BABCP accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, with further specialist training in CBT for psychological trauma.
I work with children, young people, and adults, who for many different reasons may be experiencing psychological and emotional distress in their lives. We will explore what direction would be helpful to take in therapy, working collaboratively to help you achieve the goals you have identified in the move towards a value led life using evidence based, approved techniques.
My approach is built on compassion and understanding, coming from a non-judgemental stance. My goal is to help you develop long term coping skills through working with you to discover how depression, worry, or PTSD affects the way you think and behave.
Arranging my first session
When you get in touch, you will be able to have a ten minute telephone consultation to discuss whether therapy may be the right step for you based on your current difficulties. If you feel like I provide the approach for you, we can arrange an assessment. I will send you a Therapy Agreement to read through and complete before your first appointment. Take some time to consider what is bringing you to therapy, what you would like to achieve, and we will talk about this in your first session.
You don’t have to know what the problem is to come to therapy - we will work together on developing an understanding of what is happening for you and this will help us decide what direction to take.
What should I expect in the first session?
Coming to therapy for the first time can feel daunting, but I am here to listen and support you. In your first session I will ask you to describe the difficulties you are having and how they are currently affecting you, and I may give you some questionnaires to complete. We will explore in detail your difficulties in the first few sessions to develop a shared understanding of what you are experiencing and what therapy approach can help you towards your goals.
Sessions for adults last 50 minutes and are held weekly, usually at the same time.
How many sessions?
This is very dependent on the difficulties you bring to work on, and on the approach we take. Less problematic issues that have been present only for a short time, generally less than a year, can take 6 – 15 sessions. More severe or complex difficulties, or problems that have been around for a long time, usually take longer, sometimes between 15 – 30 sessions. I book my sessions in blocks of 6, so that we are consistently reviewing progress towards your goals.
When we are using a DBT approach specifically to work therapeutically with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder using DBT, you need to be willing to commit to 6 – 12 months of skills work and therapy. You can read a bit more about this in the DBT section, or discuss in the 10 minute initial phone consult.
What should I tell my child about therapy?
The decision to come to therapy can be as daunting for a child as a grown up. Mentioning or chatting generally to your child about therapy and having someone to talk to can help you gauge whether your child is ready for therapy. Perhaps your child has even mentioned that they would like someone to talk to. You can validate any feelings of apprehension, explain that this is normal for anyone coming to therapy, and encourage their curiosity to try it out to see what they think.
Being open with your child and involving them in the decision about seeking support means that your child will be more engaged in therapy and successful in making changes for themselves. Let your child know well in advance so that they can get used to the idea if you have made an appointment for them.
Sessions last for 50 minutes, though for younger children are slightly shorter to avoid overwhelming or exhausting your child. They are also held weekly, usually at the same time, and will generally focus on one thing each session.
In your child’s first session I will ask them to complete some child specific questionnaires. I may also ask you to complete some questionnaires about your child.
Training, qualifications & experience
My Experience and Training
Along with CBT, I am trained in trauma focused CBT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which means I can offer a range of recognised, evidence based approaches to support your individual needs.
Since 2012 I have provided therapy in a range of settings including the NHS, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), charitable organisations, and in specialist adolescent residential services. I have worked with adults and children with common difficulties, and individuals diagnosed with enduring mental health problems including personality disorders and bi-polar disorder.
I am an affiliate CBT therapist with Oxford CBT where I work with children and adults.
MSc Psychology, Liverpool Hope University, British Psychological Society Accredited
PGDip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, University of Lancaster
PGCert CBT for Psychological Trauma, University of Oxford
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Part 1, British Isles DBT
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills, Intermediate and Advanced
Working with Severe Depression and Suicidality, BABCP, Dr Christine Padesky
Working with Dissociation, BABCP, Dr Fiona Kennedy
Advances are being made in the world of CBT through consistent scientific research and study. Part of maintaining my accreditation as a CBT therapist means that I undertake regular clinical supervision, engage in ongoing professional development and training, and adhere to the BABCP Code of Ethics and Conduct. This keeps me up to date with the latest evidence based interventions, so I can continue to deliver high quality therapy to my clients.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Attachment disorder
- Attachment disorder in children
- Behaviour problems
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Child related issues
- Childhood bereavement
- Childhood bullying
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Personality disorders
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Trauma Focused CBT
CBT focused on treating psychological trauma includes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), historical and childhood trauma, developmental trauma, and complex trauma. I have trained to provide trauma focused CBT to those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, trauma arising from Army or Military career experiences, single event traumas such as car accidents, trauma induced psychosis, and more complex experiences of abuse or interpersonal trauma.
I have been trained to deliver the programme of Trauma Focused CBT for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, developed by Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre.
Therapy involves developing a shared understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing, rebuilding your life and stabilising you emotionally, and re-processing the trauma memories. The trauma-focused interventions are tailored to suit your individual experiences and needs.
If you are ready to dedicate yourself to therapy that will help you rebuild your life, and help you to process and deal with distressing memories and experiences, then trauma focused CBT may be the right choice for you.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or simply ACT, brings together Mindfulness, Acceptance, Commitment, and Values based living. Rather than trying to get rid of emotional pain, which leads us to suffering, ACT teaches us to be present with and accepting of what is going on in our life so that we can move forward with Value led behaviour. We learn to make space for our emotional experience rather than fighting it or trying to avoid situations where it might occur. ACT helps us to develop psychological flexibility, skills to cope well, and still live life in a way that is meaningful to us, rather than being stuck in our own head. We learn to get out of our minds and into our lives.
What to expect?
As with CBT and DBT, we will spend the first few sessions developing a shared understanding of your problems, and I will ask you to really consider the kind of life you want to live. Commitment is a big part of ACT and you will be given skills to practice between sessions to help you develop your balance in the move away from suffering, towards flexibility, and value led behaviours and living.
Sessions cost £60 for adults and for children.
Payment must be made at each session, and can be made in cash. BACS is accepted however please ask for the details in advance as payment is required on the day of the session. At present we do not have card payment facilities.
Cancellation: A minimum of 24 hours notice is required to cancel/change your appointment. Appointments cancelled within 24 hours notice are charged at half the session fee (£30). It is our policy to charge in full for sessions that are missed without notice.
My sessions are being funded, do I have to pay at sessions?
I work with leading UK health insurance companies, who may be funding your therapy. In this case, you will need to provide your Authorisation Code or membership number. You will need to have cleared sessions with them before we can proceed.
Similarly, if your work place or Employee Assistance Programme, Solicitors, or Medico Legal team, are funding your sessions, I will need to receive written instruction from them before we proceed.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or simply CBT, is a therapy approach that looks at unhelpful cycles of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, helping us to understand how difficulties are maintained, and learning skills to break out of cycles we have become stuck in. Alongside skills learning, CBT uses experiments to help you develop new perspectives on your experiences in the move towards your therapy goals.
What to expect?
For the first few sessions we will work on developing a detailed, shared understanding and map of your problems. I will ask you to create a set of therapy goals that are important to you, and we will approach breaking down this map of your problems so that we are moving towards your goals by learning new skills.
Making changes in life can be challenging – it requires the commitment of time to attend sessions, and engaging in therapy tasks to practice new skills in your own time so that you can progress and thrive.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a cognitive-behavioural based therapy that deals with emotional dysregulation (under and over control of emotions), along with associated behavioural problems. People who experience such emotional instability often also struggle with impulse control, interpersonal relationships, and their self-image.
DBT is based on a “dialectical” world-view of balancing opposites. It asks us to bring together acceptance of ourselves or situations on one hand, with making positive changes in our lives on the other. We look at problems in the context of the whole person and their environment, rather than in isolation, bringing together opposite positions to find a balance. Your therapist will help you to understand the intense emotions you feel and why you feel them, working with you to recognise and accept as well as find ways to change and develop more effective ways to deal with your distress and harmful behaviours.
The therapy was developed by Marsha Linehan, and originally designed to support chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It remains the recommended approach for treating BPD, and is also recognised for treating a range of psychological difficulties.
What to Expect?
The relationship with your therapist is important in DBT, and we will cover both the skills work and the psychotherapy involved in the approach as part of weekly sessions. A DBT programme requires from you a long-term commitment of 6-12 months, along with your willingness to challenge your thinking and behaviours. We engage in ‘pre-treatment’, and four modules covering emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness.
Traditional DBT (such as that delivered by the NHS) is delivered by a DBT practitioner team: this involves you attending the team’s skills group for two hours per week, as well as your own individual psychotherapy sessions weekly, and telephone support between sessions if needed. As I am an independent DBT practitioner we will not engage in group work or between session telephone support, therefore the approach is defined as ‘DBT informed’. Waiting lists for DBT with the NHS are considerable, and your psychiatrist or G.P may recommend engaging in therapy privately if it preferable to you.
Research has shown DBT to be an effective treatment for helping teens and adults experiencing:
· Borderline Personality Disorder
· Suicidal / Self Harm behaviours
· Bulimia or Binge Eating
· Substance abuse / Addiction
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Weekday mornings, afternoons, evenings.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|