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Portman clinic



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What we do

We offer specialist long-term help for adults (and children, young people) with disturbing sexual behaviours, criminality and violence.

We help people living with problems arising from:

  • delinquent behaviour
  • criminal behaviour
  • violent behaviour
  • paraphilic disorders
  • problematic sexual behaviours (disturbing and damaging sexual behaviours or experiences).

We are here to provide services for people who may be excluded or rejected by other services because of their past or present behaviours.

We aim to treat patients in a respectful and sensitive way, whatever their history.

We offer reflective practice and organisational consultancy to other services and teams as well as bespoke training.

What to expect

We first carry out an assessment which may require several meetings. This is an exploratory discussion of your concerns and difficulties in the context of your history. The assessment process is often helpful in its own right.

At the end of the assessment we discuss with you what treatment may be appropriate. This could be:

  • individual psychoanalytic therapy at the Portman clinic
  • group therapy at the Portman clinic
  • another form of treatment with another suitable service

On some occasions, after further assessments involving your partner, we may offer couples therapy (see below).

After the assessment process, with your consent, we inform the referrer of the outcome.

Individual and couple psychotherapy involves weekly sessions, although we may sometimes offer sessions on a less or more frequent basis, depending on your need and the availability of treatment vacancies. Group therapy sessions are weekly and we recommended that you are able to commit yourself to a minimum of two years of weekly attendance during term times.

We also offer a mentalisation-based treatment programme for men with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder who want help for managing their aggressive behaviour. The treatment comprises both group and individual sessions.

In accordance with NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines for the treatment of the individuals we see here, we usually offer longer-term treatment than most other services. Patients with a forensic history (people who have a mental health problem who have been arrested, are on remand or have been to court and found guilty of a crime) and those living with personality disorders and paraphilic disorders (problems controlling specific sexual impulses) often need longer-term engagement and our treatment may be offered as open-ended.


Couples are sometimes referred and seen for an assessment. Some couples may be offered regular couples therapy, or we may offer one member of the couple individual psychotherapy or group therapy, whichever is considered to be most appropriate.

How to access this service

If you feel you would benefit from our service, we accept self-referrals or you can speak to your GP or other appropriate professional.

For referrals, and if you have any initial questions please contact us at

NHS e-Referral Service

To locate the service on the NHS e-Referral Service, enter the following in the search fields:

  • Service name: Portman Clinic – Tavistock & Portman NHSFT
  • Priority: Routine
  • Specialty: Mental Health – Adults of all ages
  • Clinic type: Not Otherwise Specified
  • Organisation of site name field: Tavistock And Portman NHS Foundation Trust

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