Alison Lancaster

Alison Lancaster, BSc (Hons) MSc

I am an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with 13 years’ experience in mental health. Working with individuals, children, and families I have experience of working with a range of problems and disorders, and have a special interest in obsessive compulsive disorder.

Based in Carlisle and Wigton, Cumbria

I gained my first BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 1997 at the University of Durham followed by:

  • MSc in the Psychobiology of Stress and Stress Management (1999) – University of Surrey
  • BSc(Hons) in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (2004) – University of Lancaster
  • MSc in Psychology in Healthcare (2007) – University of Northumbria
  • Accredition with BABCP in December 2010

I began my work in the mental health field in 1998 when I trained and worked as a volunteer counsellor with Cumbria Alcohol & Drug Advisory Service (CADAS) Cumbria. In 2000 I began working as an Assistant Psychologist with the Adult Mental Health Service (AMHS) and the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in the Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust. In 2005 I undertook the 2 year MSc. training as an Associate Psychologist and continued to work in both AMHS and CAMHS until 2010 at which time I moved to working part-time only in CAMHS. I have worked privately for the last two years working with those who self-refer as well as those referred by agencies. I am a registered associate with agencies such as CBT Services, The Injury Care Clinic, Argent Rehabilitation, ATOS, etc. I am accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, the lead organisation for CBT in the UK since 1972. BABCP also provides accreditation to those who practise CBT in the NHS and privately. It is widely recognised by health and social care employers, training institutions and health insurance companies. BABCP believes that accreditation is important in protecting the public and raising the quality of CBT.

I am also a graduate member of the British Psychological Society.

What can CBT help with?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in changing the client’s unhelpful behaviours and thinking patterns.
NICE (National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence) provides independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health, including mental health. (see
CBT is recommended by NICE for the treatment of the following conditions:-

  • anxiety disorders (including panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety and health anxiety)
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:

  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • anxiety disorders and depression in children and adolescents
  • sleep difficulties
  • anger management

How CBT is delivered

CBT will be offered in 1 to 1 sessions. The number of CBT sessions you need depends on your particular difficulties. Often this will be between 5 and 20 sessions lasting 60 minutes each. These may be weekly or fortnightly initially, depending on the severity of the symptoms you are experiencing. During early sessions we will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. Together we will help you decide what difficulties you want to focus on in order to work towards improving your situation and quality of life. CBT is not a quick fix. It involves hard work during and between sessions.

Although CBT is my dominant therapeutic approach in exploring difficult, and often painful, emotions and experiences, I also work in an integrative way to meet clients’ needs. I use elements of psychodynamic, systemic and interpersonal therapeutic approaches, balancing a counselling person-centred philosophy with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to help the person gain an increased self-awareness and understanding to gain a greater capacity for choice and change.

For further information about the cognitive behavioural therapeutic approach please go to my website

My clients benefit from –

  • an experienced, professionally trained and accredited CBT therapist
  • access to NICE recommended, evidence-based therapy, without a long wait for an appointment
  • a safe, confidential and professional service to help you improve your quality of life.

If you have any further queries or you feel CBT might help and you would like an appointment, then please contact me at:
E-mail: Landline: 016973 45434; Mob: 07816119345 (please leave a message and I will call you back as soon as I can)
I hold clinics at the Centre for Psychology and Psychotherapy, 65 Warwick Road, Carlisle CA1 1EB Tel: and at my purpose built garden therapy room in Wigton.

Click here to contact me.