What is GBI?

23 February 2022

From psychotherapy to person-centred care, mindfulness and everything in between, navigating the mental health space can be a stress-filled and confusing process. If your local service has recommended GBI for your child, you may well be wondering what it is and if it’s the right choice.

GBI stands for Goal Based Intervention, a therapeutic approach that can improve emotional wellbeing, build resilience and develop better coping skills in children and young people. It draws on evidence-based therapies, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

GBI is a highly flexible form of therapy that is used to treat common mental health concerns like low mood, depression and anxiety. Sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual to help them achieve their personal goals. As a practical and solutions-focused talking therapy, GBI empowers children and young people to understand their emotions and manage their behaviour.


What’s the difference between GBI and CBT?


While GBI takes exercises, ideas and inspiration from CBT, GBI clinicians can also draw on other therapeutic approaches that might be more helpful for the child or young person attending therapy. In this way, GBI can offer more flexibility than CBT and sessions can be personalised to an even greater extent.


How do young people access GBI at Healios?


Healios is an expert provider of online mental healthcare for children and young people aged between five and 25. We work in partnership with NHS services throughout the UK, including CAMHS and other services that refer children and young people for mental health, autism and ADHD support.

Children and young people typically come to Healios for GBI following a referral from their local service. Some young people who come to Healios for mental health assessment later access GBI services at Healios, too.

Once we receive a referral from your local service, we’ll be in touch to schedule an appointment for your child. Because our team includes more than 220 registered clinicians, we can provide quick access to appointments, with most children and young people being seen within two months of referral.


How does online GBI work at Healios?


All Healios appointments are delivered by experienced clinicians online using our digital platform, Panacea. This means your child can access support from a space they feel comfortable without having to travel to or spend time in an unfamiliar clinical setting. With Panacea, you can chat with your clinician over video, view session notes, manage appointments and ask family members to join sessions, even if they are logging in from different locations.

Sessions usually take place weekly, with each session lasting for 50 minutes. During your child’s first appointment, your clinician will spend some time getting to know them and the challenges they are currently facing. They’ll explain what GBI is, how it works and why it might be helpful for your child. Because GBI is a practical type of therapy that involves actively working towards achievable goals, the clinician will work with you and your child to set some realistic goals in their first session.

Each session will be completely personalised to support your child as they work towards their goals. The clinician will take them through a variety of on-screen exercises to guide the conversation and help your child get the most out of each session. Depending on your child’s needs, these exercises might focus on topics like understanding feelings, developing coping strategies, forming healthy habits and managing sleep. Goals are reviewed in every session to ensure the time your child spends in therapy is always focused on the issues that matter to them.

Once your child has completed their sessions and is ready to be discharged from Healios, you’ll be given a health and wellbeing plan, as well as information on extra support that’s available in your area.

Offering a tailored and practical approach to mental healthcare, GBI helps children and young people to develop the skills they need to navigate everyday life in a happy and healthy way. If your child is referred to Healios for online GBI and you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch using the button below. We’d be happy to support you.

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