The Psychological Assessment and Therapy Service provides help and advice to patients by looking at:
- how emotional difficulties have developed over time
- the effects these difficulties have
- how to manage this
Trained mental health professionals from a variety of professions provide the therapy. Our therapists include:
- clinical psychologists
- primary mental health care workers
The service does its best to ensure that the therapist’s skill and experience is appropriate to the problem presented.
How you get on with the therapist is a key factor in any therapy. You may prefer to see a therapist from a similar background or culture, or a female or male therapist.
How can I access the service?
You need to be referred to us by your GP.
There is usually a wait of about 8 weeks between us receiving the referral and you attending an assessment.
If your circumstances change during that time and you feel you need urgent help, then you should contact your GP.
What will happen at my first appointment?
Your first appointment is a screening assessment with 1 or 2 therapists. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your difficulties and share the feelings that have been troubling you. This will take at least an hour of your time.
The therapist’s role is to assess how best they might be able to help you and what some of the reasons might be for some of your difficulties.
The assessment does not mean that you will automatically be given further appointments and this can be discussed with your therapist.
What happens if I am offered further therapy after my initial appointment?
If you are offered individual therapy after your assessment then you will be offered a therapy programme ranging from 1 to 16 sessions.
You will be put onto a waiting list until the therapist most suited to your needs is available. The waiting list can be up to 3 months long.
A self help programme might also be recommended. This has a range of courses available and there is also the option of attending a computerised cognitive behaviour therapy course.
What happens if I miss my appointments?
Sessions are time limited so it is important that appointments are not missed.
Also, the therapists tend to be booked several weeks in advance and it is quite likely that a missed session cannot be replaced.
If you are unable to attend due to illness or an emergency, then please let us know as soon as you can. We might be able to offer the appointment to someone else.
Generally, if 2 appointments are missed without explanation then we will assume you do not wish to continue.
Confidentiality is very important to this service. Whilst you are in our service the therapist will keep a record of your meetings. These notes are kept secure at all times, and will not generally be released without your prior agreement and written consent.
Whilst we make every effort to ensure that your welfare and anonymity are protected, therapists may need to discuss ongoing treatment with involved professionals. In exceptional circumstances (such as where you or someone else is at significant risk) we may need to contact other agencies to safeguard the welfare of yourself or others.