Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) delivers guided self-help (GSH) interventions in the United Kingdom (UK). A minority service-user group for whom we know little of their engagement with GSH are Turkish-speaking users. The study aimed to better understand Turkish-speaking service-users experience of a GSH intervention in an IAPT service and identify possible service improvements. A discovery interview method facilitated service-users to describe their experience of GSH. Transcripts were analysed thematically. Excerpts of service-user narratives and thematic commonalities across interviews were disseminated in clinical teams and informed service improvements. Participant distress was expressed through somatic complaints, a high level of confusion and inactivity. Engagement with GSH was affected by ambivalent help-seeking and sense of limited self-efficacy. Service improvements aimed to address a widespread sense of confusion and anxiety. Listening to service-user experience provides opportunities for mending communication gaps between services and ethnic minority service-users.


IAPT, Guided Self-Help (GSH), Turkish Speaking, Ethnic Minority, Service-User Narrative, Discovery Interview

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Vasiliki Christodoulou is a Counselling Psychologist and a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist currently working for University of Central Lancashire in Cyprus. Her interests include compassion and acceptance-based psychotherapeutic approaches, multicultural Psychology and Qualitative Research methods. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: vasiliki_christodoulou@primehome.com.

Dr. Lorna Lorna is a Counselling Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist currently working in Psychiatric Liaison with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust, London. Her interests include psychological medicine, multicultural psychology and psychological impact of trauma. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Lorna.Fortune@nhs.net.

Gozde Arslan is a trainee Counselling Psychologist. She worked as psychological wellbeing practitioner for several years.

Canan Koc is an accredited cognitive behavioural psychotherapist and a trainee Counselling Psychologist.


The researchers want to thank Funda Halil, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, for her assistance and express their gratitude to all the participants for their valuable contribution by sharing their experiences. They would also like to thank Haringey Improving Access to Psychological Therapies at Whittington Health, who made this research possible.

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