Group top-up therapy for service users
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Group top-up therapy for service users

Joshua Wellman Trainee clinical psychologist, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
Barbara Barter Clinical psychologist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Ann Steele Research clinical psychologist, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Joshua Wellman and colleagues argue that those with learning disabilities could benefit from having a mix of individual and group therapy

Group interventions offer an alternative means of providing psychological support to people with intellectual (learning) disabilities. This case study explores the use of offering a transdiagnostic cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) ‘top-up’ group therapy intervention as an adjunct to individual CBT. Five participants with mild intellectual disabilities attended a therapy group that drew on transdiagnostic CBT to treat various psychological difficulties. Group content focused on sharing a broad range of transferable coping skills. Attendees experienced benefits in self-esteem, overall mental health, social and behavioural functioning and reductions in psychological distress.

Participant feedback and facilitators’ reflections highlighted other unique outcomes. Group top-up therapy may offer a useful means of consolidating coping skills, empowering service users to become more active in their recovery

Learning Disability Practice. 18, 8, 33-38. doi: 10.7748/ldp.18.8.33.e1686


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 23 July 2015

Accepted: 18 August 2015