What we do
Our award winning trauma service helps people aged over 23 who have experienced traumatic events in childhood including sexual or physical abuse that continue to have a significant effect upon their lives.
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 experience multiple episodes of trauma over a period of time.
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.
We have developed an arm of the Trauma Service specifically to address the needs of individuals who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. In addition to the treatments mentioned below being accessible, we also provide specialist group work including a one-year women’s group run by two female therapists and a one-year men’s group run by one male and one female therapist.
What to expect
We begin by offering introductory meetings which provide an opportunity for you to meet a member of the team, let us know about your current circumstances, and hear about the service as we begin to plan your treatment with us. Following this, we usually offer an extended consultation over four sessions to understand the nature and impact of the trauma, using a trauma-informed psychoanalytic approach. We also explore the most suitable approach to treatment.
As part of the consultation we will work with you to construct a personalised package of care which may include:
- Trauma–informed psychoanalytic psychotherapy – at weekly or fortnightly intervals
- Specialist groups including a women’s group, a trauma-focused mentalization-based therapy group, art therapy, a yoga for trauma group and a gardening therapy group
- A trauma psychoeducation group – usually seven weeks in length
- Social work interventions or practical support from another team member
- Support from experts by experience – practitioners with lived experience
- A trauma information session for families, friends or professionals
We usually treat individuals, but occasionally see couples and families who have experienced 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.
We have a Service User Panel Group which meets regularly to help inform the service and to develop better service user involvement over time. We also provide access to our virtual community via our online noticeboard and to our lending library with specialist books available focusing on trauma and the work of the service. We regularly request questionnaires are completed before, during and after the treatment as these allow us to know more about your circumstances, monitor progress and assess our service.
How to access this service
We accept referrals from GPs, counsellors, IAPT services and other mental health or social care professionals.