Stuart Forrest

Accredited CBT Psychotherapist

Academic Qualifications

  • Post Graduate Diploma in CBT (University of West of England)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction Studies (Leeds University)
  • Registered Nurse – Mental Health

Professional Memberships

  • Accredited member of British Association for Behavioural ands Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Member of EMDR Association UK

I hold professional insurance and abide by the codes of ethical and professional practice of the BABCP and NMC.

Throughout my career I have been privileged to work with people who have presented with a wide spectrum of problems – both physical and psychological. While working in the addictions field I became interested in psychological interventions for people with complex psychological problems and trained in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT is a branch of therapy aimed towards helping people who have difficulties regulating their emotions and related behaviours. With a growing awareness of the strong evidence base for the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioural approaches I decided to train professionally in CBT and have subsequently been working as an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. I have worked extensively within the NHS, initially in a primary care setting for IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and for the last eight years working within NHS secondary mental health services in Gloucestershire and   

Much of my current NHS work involves helping individuals who have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. I have a particular interest in compassion focussed therapy (CFT), as a branch of CBT that is developing through our growing understanding of how the brain works in relation to emotions, and in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and often integrate both CFT and ACT in therapy when appropriate. I am experienced in practicing CBT with individuals and groups who suffer from Depression, anxiety, disorders (including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and specific phobias. I have recently completed training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), which is a comprehensive psychotherapy that helps you process and recover from past experiences that are affecting your mental health and wellbeing using methods which maximise the brain’s natural processing and healing capabilities. There is growing evidence for the effectiveness of EMDR across a range of mental health conditions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have made specific recommendation for offerring EMDR for PTSD since 2018.

I believe strongly in the CBT principal that therapy is a collaborative engagement – and as such relies upon an active role for both therapist and client. Effective therapy stems from developing individualised treatmen√ľased upon a psychological formulation of a persore difficulties and life experiences – that makes sense to both therapist and individual. As the evidence base for effective practice is developing all the time I remain dedicated to keeping up to date with published research and recommendations which support and inform good practice.

I believe it is important that you receive the right therapy for you, if indeed you need to have therapy at all. My first goal is always an assessment, from which a shared understanding of the problem(s) can inform the next step. It may be that CBT is not the right approach or that this is not the right time etc. Importantly, it may be that I am not the best person to help – and may signpost to somewhere else if I can. However, where we decide to go ahead with therapy, we will make clear goals together and will know how we are to measure progress from the outset.

I can liaise with GPs and, as a registered nurse, can make recommendations around the use of medication – which can sometimes be a crucial element in the journey to becoming well. The process of referral starts with initial contact and then a phone call. Sometimes GPs or health insurance agencies can make direct referrals. I am also happy to speak to family or friends on behalf of people, who, for whatever reason, may find it too difficult to speak on the phone.

Please use the CONTACT page if you would like to get in touch.