Online Referral

Sheffield IAPT improving access to psychological therapies working together to improve your wellbeing mental health NHS sheffield IAPT health and social care
sheffield health and social care NHS foundation trust sheffield iapt IAPT improving access to psychological therapies therapy mental health counselling stress anxiety depression depressed anxious low mood worry

Online Referral

Sheffield IAPT improving access to psychological therapies working together to improve your wellbeing mental health NHS sheffield IAPT health and social care

We all have physical symptoms (such as painful or uncomfortable feelings in our bodies) at different times in our lives. These usually get better on their own, or if they persist we seek help from our GP.
However many people have persistent physical symptoms that affect their quality of life:

  • Where medical investigations haven’t really found a problem with the body that may be the cause
  • Where medical treatment hasn’t really helped them manage their symptoms

It can be difficult to cope with physical symptoms that are very real, but are hard to diagnose and treat medically. Everyone’s experience of physical symptoms is different. You may have a group of symptoms which means a diagnosis has been given such as Fibromyalgia or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Or you may have a diagnosed condition (such as Epilepsy), but have other symptoms (such as dizziness, fainting) which are unexplained. Alternatively, it may be that no clear diagnosis or medical explanation of your symptoms has been provided, or a more general term has been given such as chronic pain or functional symptoms (e.g. functional headache).

Some common persistent physical symptoms are:
Pains in the muscles, joints or other parts of the body (e.g. chest)
Feeling faint/dizzy
Heart palpitations
Stomach problems (e.g. pain or feeling bloated)
Numbness and tingling
When medical tests show normal results, but you know you feel unwell, some people feel that their symptoms are not taken seriously or they are not believed. Not understanding the cause of the symptoms can make them even more upsetting and difficult to cope with. It can be frustrating if there is not a medical treatment that seems to help.
Living with persistent physical symptoms can impact all areas of your life and can:
  • Affect your sleep and energy levels
  • Make you feel helpless and out of control
  • Make you angry and frustrated with yourself and others
  • Affect your relationships
  • Leave you feeling worried, anxious, low or stressed
  • Affect your ability to work or socialise
  • Stop you from doing things you previously enjoyed
  • Lead to use of medication to try to control symptoms, perhaps resulting in unwanted side effects
Everyone’s experience of persistent physical symptoms is different and may be affected by a range of factors. However, we know that the mind and body are closely linked and learning more about this link can help people to understand and manage their symptoms better.  For many people, stress can make physical symptoms worse, or more difficult to cope with. Learning how to cope with stress can help to reduce the impact of symptoms.  Some physical symptoms may be better understood by looking at how our thoughts, feelings and emotions affect our bodies.  Learning more about this link and finding new ways of coping can help to reduce the impact of ongoing physical symptoms and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Courses Available
You may be living with a range of different symptoms that affect your daily life. The following courses may be useful:

Living Well with Pain

5 sessions over 5 weeks for people who experience chronic pain (pain which is experienced for 6 months or more) and who want to find ways to help themselves manage and cope with living with pain.

Living Well with Fatigue

Available to all people who are living with ongoing fatigue who would like to learn practical ways to manage symptoms of stress, anxiety or low mood.

Living Well with a Long Term Condition

Available for people living with a long term physical health condition who would like to help themselves better manage their long term condition and wellbeing.

Mindfulness for Health

This course teaches simple mindfulness meditation practices which you can build into daily life, to help you to manage and live with your health condition and reduce problems such as stress, anxiety, low mood and pain.
HandnHeart_iconHow will this help me?
If you are experiencing physical symptoms that are affecting your quality of life and your mood, you can access help from our IAPT Health and Wellbeing Service. We cannot take the symptoms away, but we hope that by working with us you can:
Develop strategies to reduce the impact of your symptoms on your life
Learn skills to overcome your stress, anxiety or low mood
One to One Therapy
If you have looked at our range of courses and are unsure if this is the right first step for you, please call 0114 2716568 to request an assessment with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. Our assessments take up to 45 minutes, usually by telephone or face to face. The Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner will talk through your situation and discuss what options may be best for you.

If you book a telephone assessment please make sure you take the call in a confidential place and that we have your correct phone number. We will call you twice, once at the agreed appointment time and again 5 minutes later. If there is no answer, we will assume that you no longer want therapy and will refer you back to your GP.

You can call 0114 2716568 to self-refer whenever you are ready.

What can I expect from these sessions?
A range of talking therapies are available, from guided self help to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other evidence based Psychological Therapies. This would start from an assessment appointment to understand your situation and what changes you would like to make. The focus would be on thinking about you as a whole person, including both your physical health and links between this and your thoughts and emotions. One to one sessions may include learning relaxation techniques and other strategies that will help you to look after your mind and body together.
These sessions will aim to help you:
Understand the relationship between your physical symptoms and your thoughts, feelings and behaviours
Find ways of living with your physical symptoms and managing the impact your symptoms might be having on your mood (e.g. worries about your symptoms and their causes or treatment)
Find ways of living with the uncertainty of having symptoms that have not been diagnosed
Manage low mood and stress
Who is this suitable for?
Talking therapies are suitable for people living with physical symptoms, whether or not they have been diagnosed, which are affecting quality of life or leaving you feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

For further information and/or to book either a course or an assessment please contact us.

0114 271 6568

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