Adult complex needs service

Our adult complex needs teams provide a range of psychotherapies for those who need a specialised service.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Our Adult Complex Needs Service is receiving new referrals and triaging them as usual.

Newly referred patients may have to wait longer for assessments as we are trialling Zoom assessments and how the assessment of patient needs can be made in a helpful way with this new method.  We hope to share the learning of this more widely and therefore increase our capacity to deliver assessments within the service.

Patients already in therapy are continuing their appointments remotely via Zoom or telephone.

Our approach is based on a psychoanalytic perspective which understands mental health as involving the whole person, their life and their relationships. 

Who we see

Generally those who come to our service have been seen by counsellors or psychologists in the community (primary care), or in specialised mental health services. 

Most patients come with depression and anxiety. Many also have complications with their physical health. Relationships, isolation and work related problems are very common. Many wish to try to come to terms with early life and family experiences. 

Assessment and treatment

After referral we offer an extended assessment, generally of more than one meeting, which invites the person to talk about their experience at length. Sometimes the assessment is a consultation which helps understand the problem enough to make a difference or it may lead to a brief treatment of up to 16 sessions. At end of the assessment, options are presented to the patient and together with the assessing clinician, a decision is made as to best course of treatment. 

Brief therapies include:

We also consider whether longer term psychotherapy is the best treatment of choice. This can involve waiting and when a vacancy is available it takes places with a different therapist. 

The range of therapies available includes:

Intermittent and review appointments are offered as required. 


Our service has three teams:

  • Psychoanalytic Assessment and Treatment Hub (PATH)
  • Psychoanalytic Treatment Unit (PTU) 
  • Maresfield unit

Our teams are multidisciplinary. This means we have experts from different specialties who work together to assess and treat our patients. 

We are a training clinic with clinicians from a wide range of professional mental health backgrounds. Our teams include experienced consultant psychiatric staff and psychoanalytic psychotherapists. 

North London, West London and Hertfordshire. We also consider referrals from other parts of the UK. 

Adults aged 23 and over who live in North London, West London or Hertfordshire.

We accept referrals from GPs and mental health professionals.

If you feel you would benefit from our service, speak to your GP or other appropriate professional about a referral to us. 

Referrals should be sent/addressed to Ibironke Aboyade, Adult Intake Coordinator, or call 020 8938 2209. 

Electronic referrals

Please be aware that GPs who can refer directly to Tavistock & Portman services are now able to refer to a Referral Assessment Service (RAS) via the Electronic Referral Service.

Organisation of Site Name field: Tavistock and Portman

Service name: Adult Complex Needs - Tavistock & Portman NHSFT          

Priority: Routine

Speciality: Mental Health – Adults of all ages

Clinic Type:    Anxiety/Depression/Stress: Mild/Moderate

                        Anxiety/Depression/Stress: Severe

                        Eating Disorders

                        Peri and Post-Natal Issues

                        Psychological Disorder/Difficulties

                        Psychotic Disorders

                        Self Harm

                        Sexual Issues

Download the 'Adult complex needs' referral form

020 8938 2209