Community Group of the Week: Guided Self-Help

Please note: photograph is of Ani, GP for Guided Self-Help, not interviewee.

Every Tuesday at 1.30pm, Storyhouse hosts a drop-in session on with a Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. You can find out about guided self-help (GSH), the referral process and other mental health services. Find out the dates and times of the next session here.

One of the regular users, Sophie, tells us why she likes the sessions and how Storyhouse has had a positive effect on her mental health.

Guided self help has been run out of the meeting room in Storyhouse for about a year now, what is it about the space that is different to going somewhere else?

Storyhouse has a calm and relaxed atmosphere, which is different from other guided self-help locations. This immediately sets a more personal tone to the sessions.

What do you do in guided self-help sessions?

After entering the room, the counsellor goes through a questionnaire with you which gives an indication of your mood and symptoms. You then talk through work you have done outside the sessions or action plans.

Has it made a difference to your journey to the sessions happening in Storyhouse?

Yes, I really appreciated having the sessions at the Storyhouse. It’s a place associated with fun and learning, compared to a medical facility!

Did you use Storyhouse before your started guided self-help?

Yes, I used Storyhouse’s cinema, theatre and library. The Kitchen does great food too!

What do you do in Storyhouse before or after your session?

Before the session I would have a coffee and catch up on emails in the restaurant.

Is there anything you would like to see or do at Storyhouse in the future?

Storyhouse already offers so many things, but I would love to see more amateur comedy! The parking is also quite difficult, I feel that this should not be a barrier. There should be an agreement with the car parks that they should be subsidised or free.

What would you say to someone who is suffering with mental health issues and who is not currently using Storyhouse as a public facility   

I would say that it offers a calm environment. There is a mental health technique called grounding, where you focus on the present to distract your mind. Storyhouse has lots of textures, colours and sounds which can be helpful for this. My favourite thing about it is that it is so accessible for everyone.


Drop-in to talk to a Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust Psychological Well*being Practitioner where you can find out about guided self-help (GSH), the referral process and other mental health services.

Guided self-help (GSH) is part of the services offered by the Community Mental Health Team from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust.

Guided Self Help is a short term talking therapy focused on low intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, delivered in a 1-2-1 setting to help with common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

For ages 16+