15 years of Sheffield Talking Therapies

In 2023 Sheffield Talking Therapies (formerly IAPT) celebrated their 15th birthday. Take a look at some key moments in the development of the service below.

Timeline of service developments

2008 Sheffield IAPT started with 26 trainees, seeing 4,500 patients in the first year, offering one to one appointments in GP practices. 
2009 Sheffield IAPT started offering the online supported programmes 'beating the blues' and 'fearfighter' alongside workshops including, sleep, assertiveness, and stress control.
2015 Sheffield IAPT expanded their offer of first line interventions to include improving wellbeing sessions and silvercloud - an online supported programme. Their website, logos and materials were also updated. 
2017 Sheffield IAPT had a health and wellbeing team set up to support service users to live well with their long term health conditions. This started with 10 pathways.  
2020 The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way everyone worked. Sheffield IAPT quickly adapted and moved to mostly virtual courses and one to one sessions, offering a coping with covid and life after lockdown course. They also provided psychological first aid and wellbeing sessions to employers across the city.  

An Equalities team was set up to ensure equality of access and equality of recovery rates from different groups including older adults, ethnically and culturally diverse communities, students, perinatal, LGBTQIA+. 

Sheffield IAPT expanded their offer within health and wellbeing team to work with 13 long term conditions including long covid, asthma and tinnitus. 

2023 National name change from IAPT to Sheffield Talking Therapies, this meant a rebrand of their website and all other materials. 
2024 Sheffield Talking Therapies will be expanding to include employment support alongside therapy.  

To celebrate 15 years of Sheffield Talking Therapies, staff in different stages of their career came together to speak about their experiences. Here's what they had to say:

Shamim Khan, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner

How long have you worked with Sheffield Talking Therapies?

Since October 2008 as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP).

What changes have you seen in the service over the years?

The service has expanded and the PWP role has evolved becoming more established and recognised. The service has provided lots of continuous professional development to enhance learning and expertise and there has been a lot more career development opportunities, special interest groups within areas including ethnically and culturally diverse communities (ECDC), student population, Older adults, perinatal and LGBT. 

What do you like most about your role?

I find the PWP role incredibly rewarding, helping people to manage anxiety and depression effectively, improve their wellbeing, quality of life and achieve their goals.

What are your most memorable moments?

I have numerous examples; supporting a patient to overcome their fear of the dentist and helping a patient to understand and manage depression to achieve their goal of returning to work and socialising.

Emma Johnson, Cognitive behavioral Therapist

How long have you worked with Sheffield Talking Therapies?

Since 2013 – so just over ten years! Initially as a PWP, then a senior and lead PWP in the health and wellbeing team. I then completed the CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) training. So a mixed bag and a lot of variety in that time! 

What changes have you seen in the service over the years?

Obviously as a big service we have had a lot of different staff over the years and the service has grown a lot. I like that we are a diverse group who bring a lot of different strengths to our work. I think more recently we have been thinking creatively about how to make what we offer accessible and welcoming for a broader range of people, which is a positive change. 

What led you to change roles?

I have enjoyed all the roles I have been in, and I have appreciated the variety. I think the desire for continual learning is what has kept me moving around.  

Why have you stayed at Sheffield Talking Therapies?

I have always had really kind, supportive colleagues over the years. Work relationships are quite important to me, so this is one thing that has kept me here. 

What are your most memorable moments?

I really enjoyed running the Stress Course when this was ‘Stress Control’ as it felt as though we were situated in the heart of the community and connecting with people in an accessible way. More recently I have felt a lot of satisfaction from working in a CBT role and seeing people move forward positively to meet their goals. 

Febronia Hanna

How long have you worked with Sheffield Talking Therapies?

I started in March 2023 as a trainee PWP. 

What are your first impressions of the service?

I remember that everyone made time to welcome us to the service when we joined as trainee PWPs including top management who typically have a tight schedule. It gave me the impression that everyone is valued. 

Why made you want to work at Sheffield Talking Therapies?

When I was in the process of applying and having interviews, Sheffield Talking Therapies was the only service that provided Q&A sessions. I also contacted PWPs at LinkedIn who worked at Sheffield Talking Therapies (STT) and they gave me positive feedback on how STT places a strong emphasis on the well-being of its practitioners recognising the vital role they play in delivering effective mental health support. So, I wanted to work for a service that provides supportive and inclusive work environment, fostering a culture that values the mental health and professional development of its team and offers opportunities for continuous learning.  

What have you enjoyed so far?

I have enjoyed and valued the PWP forums that provide a unique space to engage in insightful discussions, share experiences, and exchange knowledge. I particularly remember the forum that hosted an expert to educate us more on the menopause. The diverse perspectives and expertise brought forth in that forum added depth to my understanding of such area where I previously lacked insight. 

Sheffield Talking Therapies has a team that has grown to over 200 staff members which is made up of 9 different teams. They see over 16,000 patients every year, and have achieved over 50% recovery for the last two years. Great work everyone, here's to many more years!

15 years talking therapies