Trauma service

Our service has special expertise to help people in the aftermath of trauma.

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Tavistock Trauma Service remains open for referrals and we are working to adapt our therapeutic approach in the current crisis. We are working remotely by telephone and sometimes Zoom with both individuals and some groups. For more information, visit our COVID-19 section. 

Trauma may come in many different forms. It may be a single episode of trauma such as an assault, a road traffic accident, a natural disaster or the loss of a loved one by murder or suicide. 

People such as war veterans, asylum seekers and refugees, or victims of domestic violence may suffer multiple episodes of trauma over a period of time.

Many of the patients we treat have experienced traumatic events in childhood including sexual or physical abuse that continue to have a significant effect upon their lives.

Who we see

Some trauma services require patients to have a certain number or type of symptoms in order to be seen. We consider anyone who feels trauma is something that causes them significant distress or interferes with their relationships or daily living.

Usually, the patients we see find that something has become ‘stuck’ around the trauma and they find it hard to move forward. They may experience flashbacks, nightmares, feel significantly depressed or numb, or struggle with anxiety.

Assessment and treatment

We usually offer an extended consultation over four to six sessions to understand the nature and impact of the trauma, using a psychoanalytic approach. We also explore the most suitable approach to treatment

Following the consultation we may offer: 

·         A trauma psychoeducation group – usually six weeks in length

·         Specialist trauma groups including a women’s group, or a trauma art therapy group

·         psychoanalytic psychotherapy – usually at fortnightly intervals,

·         Treatment in our generic or Fitzjohn's unit

We usually treat individuals, but occasionally see couples and families who have suffered traumatic events.

In addition to using a psychoanalytic approach, we sometimes make use of other trauma-focused interventions. This will generally be in the context of an on-going therapy however, as these techniques (especially in complex PTSD) require a period of stabilization and secure establishing of a therapeutic relationship, and can destabilize some individuals if used alone.


We are a specialist team of mental health professionals.

Our senior staff are psychoanalysts who are trained in trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy and eye movement reprocessing and desensitisation. 

Our trainees are experienced and senior clinicians from a variety of backgrounds including psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy.

Adults aged 18 and over.