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Psychological Wellbeing Service (IAPT)

Psychological Wellbeing Service (PWS) is part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services.  Our aim is to make psychological therapies more accessible to people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The psychological therapies offered are approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

How can we help?

This service provides help to people aged 17 and over who are experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders, including: generalised anxiety disorder (GAD); social anxiety; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); health anxiety; panic; phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, you do not need a diagnosis to access the service and we also see people with problems such as stress, low confidence, sleep disturbance and self-esteem issues. There is no upper age limit for people accessing our service.   

The main treatment we offer is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and a range of different therapy modalities are used in the service wellbeing workshops. The suitability and availability of the different treatment options will be discussed in your initial assessment if this is something you are keen to find out more about.

The service also works with people with long term physical health conditions (LTCs) including coronary heart disease (CHD), respiratory problems, chronic pain and diabetes. It is known that those with LTCs such as these are more likely to experience depression and/or anxiety. Please click here to watch a video on our LTC service.

At present, the service is only working remotely via video consultations or telephone appointments.  Please click on the COVID-19 updates section for further information.

Completing your self-referral form

Please click on the self-referral section to find out further information and find the link to our self-referral form.  We advise people to be as detailed as they can be on this form, as this helps us to ensure our service can meet your needs and can guide our initial assessment and inform decisions on the best treatment option for you.  

Although it may seem like quite a long form, it can be relatively quick to complete. There are also some questionnaires, which provide us with a lot of important information. They help us identify areas where you are most affected by your difficulties as well as the severity of your problems. They are also useful for helping us to track your progress. If you have any questions, you can phone our self-referral telephone number for further information. 

Finding the right therapy for you

There are a number of different treatment options offered by the service and the therapist conducting your assessment will help you to find the right option for you, which will be based on a number of factors including:

  • The nature of your difficulties and the severity
  • NICE guidelines and research evidence regarding the most effective treatments for your difficulties
  • Your goals and what you hope to achieve from treatment
  • If you have had treatment before. And if so, what has been successful and what has not worked
  • We employ a stepped care model, meaning you will be offered the least intensive intervention that we think may help you first and ‘step up’ to a higher level If this is not successful
  • We also take into account your treatment preferences and what issues you are ready to work on, with consideration to the factors above

All the therapies we offer require motivation to change and will only be effective if you are prepared to work on your difficulties both in the session and between the sessions. This can mean challenging avoidance such as facing difficult or uncomfortable situations and emotions.

*Please note there may be a waiting time for some treatment options, particularly High Intensity Therapy (HIT), which can be several months although other treatment options have relatively low or no waiting times.  You can find out more about this at your initial appointment.

Who is suitable for treatment?

Whilst psychological therapies can be extremely rewarding, they are not for everybody. They require motivation, willingness to change and the process is not always straight-forward. In line with National IAPT standards, the service does not work with:

  • People who have complex difficulties such as a personality disorder or mental illness such as psychosis or bipolar illness.  
  • People who present with active risk of significant self-harm or suicide. We may see people who have such thoughts but do not have any active intent.
  • Historical abuse issues such as childhood sexual abuse where this would be the focus of the treatment.
  • Drug or alcohol problems: we would not see people where this issue would be the primary focus of treatment or if their substance use would impact on their ability to attend or engage in treatment.

In the above instances we would recommend a discussion with your GP who will be able to advise you about the most appropriate service for you and make a referral.  

If you are currently having treatment with another CPFT service, we would not be able to accept a self-referral. In such cases, we advise the CPFT team in question to make an internal referral to the appropriate PWS team.

Finally, as we are a psychological therapy service, we do not prescribe medication. If you would like to discuss any issues around medication, please make an appointment to see your GP.  

PWS terms and conditions

The Psychological Wellbeing Service routinely contacts General Practitioners for medical notes. Please discuss with your worker if there are any issues about this. Sharing information is good practice and is essential for safe and effective care.

In certain circumstances we are duty-bound to inform another professional, although wherever possible we would discuss any concerns and actions with you before informing anyone else. Examples where we would contact other professionals include:

  • If there is imminent risk of harm to yourself or to someone else
  • If we are concerned about your safety or that of someone else
  • If any child protection concerns are raised 
  • If any involvement in criminal activity has been disclosed

In some cases, we may signpost you to another appropriate organisation. For patients presenting with more complex problems, higher levels of risk, history of involvement with secondary care and mental illness such as psychosis or bipolar, it may be best to discuss the most appropriate service with your GP and request they refer you to the most appropriate service. 

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust