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What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy aims to help people recognise patterns of behaviour and get to the root of problems and issues in order that you are more able to achieve potential and get more out of life and relationship

Psychotherapy involves conversations with a listener who is trained to help you make sense of, and try to change, things that are troubling you. Psychotherapy is something you take an active working part in, rather than something you are just prescribed or given, such as medication.

Sometimes people seek help for specific reasons such as eating disorders, psycho-somatic conditions, obsessional behaviour, or phobic anxieties. At other times help is sought because of more general underlying feelings of depression or anxiety, difficulties in concentrating, dissatisfaction in work or inability to form satisfactory relationships. It can benefit adults, children, and adolescents. It can help children who have emotional and behavioural difficulties which are evident at home or school. These can include personality problems, depression, learning difficulties, school phobias, eating or sleeping disorders.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

There are similarities between psychotherapy and counselling and both aim to ease emotional distress so that you feel able to get on with your life. Counselling tends to be shorter term and may focus more on immediate difficulties.

Psychotherapy is usually longer term and is interested in the underlying factors and ongoing patterns that affect how you deal with life and this approach can lead to lasting change.

How do I know that my therapist is professional?

Our therapists are highly qualified and many have had extensive previous experience in other professional fields such as psychiatry, psychology, art therapy, education and social work. They have all received further intensive specialist training, in child & adolescent therapy, couple therapy and adult psychodynamic therapy.

All of our therapists whether qualified or therapists in training receive regular supervision and are registered with and comply with the ethical codes of one or more of the following organisations: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy; British Psychoanalytic Council, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and Association of Child Psychotherapists.

How do I make an appointment?

For our self-referral service you can contact the Bridge Foundation by telephone on 0117 9424510

Alternatively, you can email your enquiry on

If contacting us by phone and you get through to voicemail, please leave your name and number and also indicate whether it is possible for us to leave a message.

This is especially important if you are leaving a landline number that you share with others as we want to protect your privacy. We will be touch within a few days and you can then discuss your needs and availability. If you do not hear back from us, please try again. All your details will be held in absolute confidentiality.

Why do you charge a fee?

The Bridge Foundation is a registered charity and receives limited funding. We provide free services via Bridge in Schools and some commissioned services but we need to charge for some of our services. Fees that people pay cover the cost of the service.

How long will I have to wait?

We aim to keep our waiting lists as short as possible. If you are referring yourself, the waiting time for an initial consultation is usually only a few weeks but can be a lot shorter depending on the times that you can come for an appointment. Our referrals Co-ordinator will discuss this with you when you first contact us.
Occasionally we may recommend that you are referred to another agency more suited to your needs.

What happens in a session?

Children, Families, couples and young adults

Therapists may see a child or young person individually, or young people or with parents or other family members. Through the relationship with the therapist in a consistent setting, the child or young person may begin to feel able to express their most troubling thoughts and feelings.
The Bridge psychotherapists tailor their approach to the individual child and work in an age-appropriate way. During an individual session, young children do not usually talk directly about difficult things but will communicate through play using the toys provided. Older children may also play or draw whilst teenagers are more likely to talk about their feelings. Infants and parents are seen together to think about their patterns of interaction.


At the the initial consultation meeting you will be invited to talk about yourself, your difficulties and what you feel is important about your situation. You may also be asked to describe what, if anything, you have tried to do to help yourself before now, and what you would like to see change in yourself. We may ask you about your relationships, your work and other areas of your life, past and present.
You don’t need to prepare anything for your first appointment – the important thing is to try to be as open as possible about your problems. We find that people get the most out of this if they say whatever’s on their mind. The service is confidential and the therapist is here to help you.
The sessions last 50 minutes and you will meet your therapist at the same time each week.

How long will I have to come for?

The length of time you come depends very much on your particular issues and what you wish to get out of therapy. After an initial consultation, some people only need to come for a short time, if the difficulties you have been struggling with are long standing then you many attend sessions over many months or longer. Our therapies are always tailor-made to suit your individual needs and this is something that can be discussed at the outset of therapy and on an ongoing basis.

Therapy with children and/or parents may be short- or long-term, from as few as two to six sessions to regular appointments over several years – depending on what you need. The timing of ending of therapy is usually agreed by discussion between you and the therapist, although you are free to end at any time.

What we can help with

Young people, children and families can suffer greatly from emotional difficulties at different stages of life. These challenges may persist, making for unhappiness at home or at work, and causing all kinds of related problems: relationship difficulties, anger, lack of self confidence, anxiety, depression, and other more serious mental health conditions.

Whatever the problem, working with a trained therapist who understands can help make sense of difficulties and find new ways to manage them.

We aim to offer a safe space with experienced practitioners where these problems can be shared and understood.

When we meet you at the initial consultation, we will help you to gain a fuller understanding of what is bothering you and help think with you about how best to go forward.

Can I complain?

At the Bridge Foundation we aim to provide the highest standard of service and we take complaints seriously. Most people are satisfied with our services but if you have any concerns please speak with your therapist in the first instance.  If the matter is still unresolved you can write to the Director at the address on the contact us page. A copy of the Complaints procedure is available on request.

Do you keep my information confidential?

All contact with The Bridge Foundation is confidential – and any information is kept securely and remains confidential and all staff adhere to a code of conduct including confidentiality.

We may ask for your GP details, but we will not contact them without your permission and we will discuss any difficulties you may have about giving us your GP details.

No information will be disclosed to anyone outside the agency without your permission except in certain rare situations where there is serious concern about the safety of someone, although wherever possible this will be discussed with you first.