CBT at Newbridge

An innovative new approach to improving self-esteem developed at Newbridge will be presented at a national conference.

Assistant Psychologist Hannah Biney will describe the Newbridge self-esteem programme and initial results which show consistent improvements for all patients.

Her presentation will be to the Children and Young People Eating Disorders Research Consortium on May 12 at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Low self-esteem is a common precipitating factor in the development of eating disorders and a feature which needs effective work during treatment.

“This means supporting young people to value themselves in other ways than in terms of their weight and shape,” explains Professor Hubert Lacey, Medical Director of Newbridge House.

“Self-esteem is a central part of each patient’s individual therapy programme, according to their particular needs, but the team at Newbridge proposed an additional intervention focused wholly upon self-esteem.”

The psychology team, led by Dr Matt Hutt devised a six-week programme using CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques to improve self-esteem. This programme is based on the key components of Melanie Fennel’s low self-esteem model.

Although the use of CBT for self-esteem is established in adult services, the Newbridge programme, adapting the same principles for children and adolescents, is understood to be the first of its kind.

An assessment was used to measure participant’s self-esteem before the Newbridge programme commenced and after it was completed.

“We found there was a significant, consistent improvement in self-esteem for everyone who took part in the programme,” commented Hannah Biney.

The self-esteem programme is at the audit stage and is currently offered on a small group basis (four participants per group).

Two groups have now completed the programme, with one group being younger and the other older (overall age range 12 to 17) A third group is currently undertaking the programme at Newbridge.

“The results are very promising, although we are mindful that this is a small sample,” says Hannah. “They provide an initial audit, which is a first step, with further work to evaluate this approach ongoing.”