What do we do
The department offers consultation / assessment and psychodynamic therapy. We also work to help psychiatry trainees achieve psychotherapy competencies as required in the their training. One aspect of this work is supervising trainees while they see patients in the department.
In addition to the therapy service, we are occasionally asked to discuss patients who may not appear suitable for a course of psychodynamic therapy, but for whom a psychodynamic perspective and formulation may benefit both the clinical team looking after the patient and the patient him/herself. Depending on the patient and the situation, direct assessment of the patient or consultation with the team may be offered.
The department also has a limited capacity to provide a reflective practice service to other teams.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a talking treatment which helps people to understand the patterns of emotions and behaviour that can have a negative impact on their lives. Therapy provides an opportunity to explore these patterns, to link them with experiences from earlier life and so make sense of them.
In this type of therapy, the therapist does not set an agenda or lead the exploration, but instead listens intently to patients’ descriptions of their experiences in the present and the past, in order to help them by drawing attention to the possible underlying meaning. It is an intense experience which requires patients to look honestly at themselves – patients are encouraged to face their experiences and emotions, and to take responsibility for their actions and their lives. The process can be highly emotionally disturbing.
This type of therapy therefore works best for people who are interested in understanding themselves, and in exploring the deeper meaning of patterns in their lives, both in the past and the present. It is not suitable for patients who want a structured, practical approach, or whose focus is on obtaining direct relief from symptoms or being taught coping strategies.
Where is Psychotherapy based?
3, The Bungalows,
How we can be accessed
Referrals are accepted directly from mental health professionals, though often it is best to ring or email us to speak about a patient before sending in a written referral. The department does not currently accept direct GP referrals, which are instead submitted via a single point of access to psychological services.
All referrals for consideration of therapy are reviewed against our referral criteria and if appropriate we shall offer the patient an initial appointment. This provides the opportunity for both patient and clinician to see whether a course of psychodynamic therapy is likely to be the right approach at the moment. If therapist and patient agree that it is, then we would discuss further treatment.