My first visit

I have been referred to you, what now?

We will write to you to arrange your first appointment. You will be given a choice of appointments but if these are not convenient, you are welcome to call us to reschedule. The number to contact will be on your appointment letter. 

Who will I see and what will happen at the appointment? 

Unless you have already had a mental health assessment  in another service, you will come and meet one of our therapists for an initial consultation. You will be asked to arrive about 10-15 minutes before the appointment is due to start, to complete some forms that we need for our information.

The assessment will consist of talking about yourself, your difficulties and what you feel is important about your situation. You may also be asked to describe what, if anything, you have tried to do to help yourself before now, and what you would like to see change in yourself. We may ask you about your relationships, your work and other areas of your life, past and present.

You don’t need to prepare anything for your first appointment – the important thing is to try to be as open as possible about your problems. We find that people get the most out of this if they say whatever’s on their mind. The service is confidential and the therapist is here to help you. 

Following this initial appointment, you may then have a few further appointments with the same therapist until they can complete their assessment. 

After this first visit (or series of visits), the therapist you see will recommend how we might help you and what part of our service would best meet your needs. You will then be referred either to our generic clinical service or, if appropriate, to one of our specialist clinical services.

Can I have an interpreter?


Our interpreters are specially trained to work with people in therapy and you can feel comfortable speaking freely in front of them. If you have an interpreter you’d prefer to use, please let us know and we will do our best to include them.

We will usually be told if you need an interpreter. But if you’re not sure whether one has been organised, please contact the administrator whose details are provided on your letter. You can also contact the administrator if you have any other questions.

Are there facilities for patients with disabilities?

The Tavistock Centre is wheelchair accessible and has lifts to all floors. If you would like some help with the lifts, please ask at reception.

There is a toilet for people with disabilities on the ground floor next to the library.