The Psychological Skills Service (PSS)

The PSS is a new service for people who experience significant difficulties with their mental health, whilst also managing to keep themselves safe and relatively well without significant support from services. Historically, the people who the PSS is designed for might have found that their difficulties were too complex to be supported in primary care, whilst also not considered serious enough to be supported in Secondary care and so fell through the gaps. The PSS also helps people may have had some CBT or other therapy in the past and found it to not be as helpful as they had hoped.

What does the PSS offer?

Many (but far from all) of the people who come to the PSS have experienced trauma or significant adversity in their lives. The PSS is a trauma informed service aimed at helping people learn the skills and understanding to live a better life. We provide individualised treatment packages drawing on several different individual and group interventions. All of the treatments provided are forms of evidence-based psychological therapy.

All of the interventions start with an individualised formulation of a person’s history, strengths, difficulties, and goals. In co-creating your formulation we would explore with you how your difficulties emerged in the context of what has happened to you, how these experiences have affected you, what sense you of them, and what you have done to survive.  The therapist brings their psychological expertise to collaborate with you as an expert of your own life to create new way of understanding which informs your treatment plan.

Group Interventions:

  •  Understanding and coping with complex trauma
    • Developing a better understanding of complex trauma and learning ways to cope in order to build a better future.
  • Building on me with ASD   
    • Helping people who identify as Autistic to learn skills for building/maintaining relationships, understanding and dealing with emotions and building on their quality of life.
  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
    • Learning ways to be more self-compassionate (kind, gentle, empathic, courageous), overcome shame, increase self-soothing skills and find ways of tackling the critical voice.
  • ‘Taking ACTion’ (group for persistent physical symptoms)
    • Helping people with persistent physical health problems (e.g. chronic pain, illness or fatigue, seizures) to build and live a meaningful life despite those difficulties, using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
  • Schema Therapy
    • Helping people to become aware of and manage problematic patterns in their life and relationships. By understanding the ‘schemas’ and ways of coping that reinforce these patterns and learning new healther ways to understand themselves and get their needs met. 

Brief Psychological Interventions (One-to-one sessions):

  • Managing low mood
    • Helping people to reduce the vicious cycle of depression by increasing activity levels.
  • Graded Exposure 
    • Helping people who are unable to leave their homes due high anxiety, to be able to overcome and manage anxiety and get to places they have previously been avoiding.
  • Anxiety Management
    • Helping people learn strategies to cope with anxiety that interferes with daily life.
  • Coping with Hearing Voices
    • Helping people to learn how to make experiences of voices feel less distressing and interfering in everyday life.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    • Helping people to live life more fully informed by their values, learning how to feel in control of their lives and even when feeling the inevitable difficult feelings that come with being alive

We are also able to offer personalised 1:1 therapeutic interventions to suit the needs to those who have difficulties and/or goals that span across several of our standard interventions.

Therapeutic Support Work

We are also able to offer personalised 1:1 therapeutic interventions to suit the needs to those who have difficulties and/or goals that span across several of our standard interventions.

Therapeutic Support Work:

Therapeutic support work aims to support people to make their own choices and identify recovery goals that are important to them. Support workers can help people to:

  • increase connections in their community
  • feel less isolated
  • increase interest and activities they do
  • increase independent living skills and practice skills and strategies learnt in therapy


Therapeutic support work is often offered to clients who are not yet ready to engage in a more formal psychological therapy.

Advanced Individual Therapy

The PSS takes a phased approach to trauma treatment. Initially a person will be offered individual or group work aimed at equipping a person with stabilising skills such as emotional regulation, coping with anxiety, increasing self-soothing, learning about how to be more healthy in relationships, or keeping safe. After achieving stability in these areas a person may benefit from further therapy with a focus on reprocessing of traumatic memories.

The current therapies offered are:

  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Trauma Focused CBT
  • Compassion Focused Therapy

These therapies are offered as a phase two treatment, as whilst ultimately promoting recovery these therapies can be temporarily very difficult, so a person needs a level of skills to manage the temporary rise in distressing emotions/thoughts/memories that can come from engaging in such work.

Referral information

If you would like to access this service, speak to your GP who can organise a referral through a Primary Care Mental Health Practitioner. We also take referrals from other CPFT mental health teams. We cannot take self-referrals.

Where are we located?


The Old Town Hall

17 Bridge Street




Chesterton Medical Centre

35 Union Lane



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will I be seen online or in person?

Please note: PSS is both an online and face to face service. For some therapies there will be an option, for others it will only be available either online or face to face.

Where to park and are there parking charges?

Limited free parking at Chesterton Medical Centre. Peterborough clients should use the public car parks, or phone ahead for parking advice.

Is there access and support for patients and visitors with a disability?

Please ring the team before your appointment to discuss any requirements.

How to cancel your appointment

Please call and leave a message 01733 746811.



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