Therapy for a brighter future

CBT Leeds & Beyond

Life can be tough and sometimes we can all feel stuck in a rut with worries, fears and sad or unpleasant thoughts going round and round in our minds causing us problems and getting in the way of living a decent life. But change is possible and CBT Leeds & Beyond can help you to make the changes that are important to you. CBT Leeds & Beyond is an independent therapy service set up to provide a flexible and responsive service to the people of Leeds and surrounding areas, with no waiting lists, giving you access to the support you need when you need it.
Considering starting therapy can be daunting and so at Leeds CBT & Beyond we work hard to make the process as straight forward as possible. Our fully accredited therapist is skilled at providing therapy within a supportive relationship so you feel as comfortable as possible, free to be yourself and to express what you are struggling without fear of judgement.

Engaging in therapy can be challenging but many people who take the risk and give it a go, say that they are glad that they did.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT has a great evidence base and The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend CBT is used to treat all of the following:
  • Depression and mood problems
  • Panic attacks and agorophobia
  • Chronic worry
  • Social anxiety
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
CBT also has an evidence base for its effectiveness in treating low self esteem, sleep problems, phobias and health anxiety. CBT offers a practical approach to tackling problems which focuses in the main on the present time rather than on the past. The relationship is an important part of CBT and so its important that you find a therapist who you feel you can trust and feel comfortable with. Coming together and combining the skills and experience of the therapist with your expert knowledge of your life, your strengths and your problems, is a central factor in effective therapy. Experience and research shows that working as a team in this way leads to the best results.

Please see the Gallery for a short and helpful video about CBT produced by the Mental Health Charity Mind.

CBT incorporating Virtual Reality

If you are looking for help to deal with anxiety, fears and phobias you can choose to receive treatment using high quality Cognitive Behavioural Therapy interweaved with the latest in Virtual Reality simulation technology. The Virtual Reality treatments use immersive software which is viewed through a headset in the comfort of the therapy room. It allows for gradual exposure to simulated versions of the situations you fear with the support of a therapist. You can be in control of the pace, repeating certain scenes and practicing interacting in feared situations, gradually increasing the challenge until your anxiety has reduced and you have developed a greater degree of tolerance for anxiety provoking situations.

The Virtual Reality Exposure programmes on offer include environments for the treatment of needle phobias, agoraphobia; claustrophobia; driving phobia; public speaking anxiety including opportunities for interview skills practice, addiction problems and fear of heights. Also available are interactive educational experiences which facilitate understanding and coping skills for adults and young people experiencing depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Our Virtual Reality software also facilitates the development of skills in relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. 

CBT Leeds & Beyond’s Therapist


My name is Michelle Benn and I've been working as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for over 10 years, mainly with adults and more recently with young people in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Prior to that I worked in a range of community organisations as well as in further and higher education providing advice and support to people with mental health problems, asylum seekers, refugees, young homeless people and students. I have a wealth of experience to offer, not just from my work as a therapist, but from my experience of life.

I am a fully qualified therapist and have been accredited with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) since 2013. I continue to work hard to develop my knowledge, understanding and skills both personally and professionally through reading about new research into psychological approaches, attending high quality training courses and by trying to practice in my own life the ideas and techniques I share with the people I work with.

I achieve results, helping people get a better handle on their lives, understanding themselves better, improving their relationships, sleeping better, developing the confidence to go for the promotion or relationship they have been wanting and learning to be more supportive and less critical of themselves. I have helped hundreds of people over the years to take steps in their lives towards what they value and achieve things they doubted were possible.

There are many therapists to choose from, many of whom are highly qualified and competent. It's about more than a therapist's experience and qualifications though, that's just part of the picture. Finding someone you trust and feel that you can talk to and be open with is essential in helping you get to a better place. The feedback I've received over the years from past clients which has stayed in my mind has been the comments people have made about feeling comfortable, understood, cared about and heard, sometimes for the first time. This matters because the relationships I have been part of creating have enabled people to feel comfortable enough to honestly explore their troubles, face their fears and to take the risk to do the work necessary for a more contented life.

Accredited and Validated

I am a member of the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies and hold full accredited status. I am also an approved therapist with:

  • Nuffield Health
  •  IPRS
  •  Psychology Today
  • CBT Clinics
  • Moving Minds

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is your service aimed at?

  • Leeds CBT & Beyond provides therapy for adults and young people aged 14+
  • We are not able to offer a crisis response service. If you feel you are in crisis or at risk, please contact your GP, the NHS 111 service, the GP out of hours service, the NHS Emergency Service or The Samaritans on 116 133.

Where abouts in Leeds are you based?

  • Therapy is offered from a comfortable, calm and welcoming space in Headingley in North West Leeds. Therapy can also be offered by telephone and online. 

What happens at the assessment session?

  • The assessment provides an opportunity to talk about the problems you are having and to think about the changes you would like to work towards in therapy. You will be asked questions which will help us begin to understand the pattern of thinking and behaviours which might be keeping your problems going or getting in the way of you enjoying your life in the way you would like to. We will also begin the process of thinking about the kinds of strategies which could be used in therapy to help you. If we agree that CBT is the right way forward you will be given some useful questionnaires to complete before the next session and we will discuss the practicalities around arranging further sessions. If it appears CBT is not the right approach for you, we will discuss some alternatives. 

What is a treatment session like?

  • Everyone who comes for therapy is an individual and so therapy will always be adjusted to fit with individual preferences where possible. CBT is a structured therapy mainly to help us to make the most efficient use of the time available and so sessions will begin with a brief discussion about what you would like to focus on during the session. The majority of the rest of the time will be spent exploring the relevant issues and discussing and practicing proven techniques to help you to improve the way you manage the difficulties in your life. Towards the end of the session we will agree a task which you will attempt between sessions to get you closer to your therapy goals. 

How many sessions will I need?

  • The number of sessions you require will vary depending on a number of factors such as the nature of the problems you want to work on, your goals for therapy and the extent to which you are able to practice and absorb the concepts and strategies between sessions. As a general guide though, between 8 and 20 sessions are usually sufficient.

How often will I need to attend therapy? 

  • Sessions are usually held weekly and sometimes fortnightly. Evidence indicates that regular sessions at this kind of frequency help keep the momentum going and can lead to longer lasting benefits. 

When and how do I pay?

  • Payment is required at the end of each session by cash or bank transfer. If you wish to cancel a session we respectfully ask for a minimum of 24 hours notice. Cancellations made with less notice than this, will be charged at the full session rate. 

Price List

Initial Telephone Consultation

You will be offered a free 15 minute telephone consultation which provides the opportunity to see whether CBT is the right therapy for you and for you to see if you would like to go ahead and book a session. 

Assessment and Treatment Sessions

£60.00

The cost of both assessment sessions and treatment sessions is £60 per 60 minute session. 

Assessment and Treatment Sessions

£60.00

All sessions using CBT with Virtual Reality are priced at £60 per 60 minute session. 

Assessment and Treatment Sessions

Therapy arranged through insurance companies and referral agencies is usually charged at a higher rate than the fees charged to individuals because of the requirement for reports and additional administration. The fee is usually paid directly by the company.

Testimonials

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Areas Covered

Leeds and surrounding cities