Specialist psychotherapies service

The Specialist Psychotherapies Service is a multidisciplinary specialist team providing a range of outpatient psychotherapeutic interventions that place the patient’s own version of their life experiences, history and relationships at the centre of their care.

The Specialist Psychotherapies Service offers a range of psychodynamic based interventions. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a particular way of understanding and helping people with mental health difficulties. It is an approach that gathers and considers the patient’s personal story, past and present circumstances, relationship patterns and inner feelings and emotions.  The relationship you have with your therapist is a lived experience that grows understanding of how you relate to yourself and others.

Who uses our service

The service is offered to patients experiencing longstanding and complex mental health difficulties aged 25+ living in the Birmingham area or individuals aged 16+ living in the Solihull area, who have established relationships with community mental health services.

How we can help

We can help with the following issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Sexual, physical and emotional abuse
  • Emotional difficulties related to pregnancy and childcare
  • Gender and identity issues
  • Adjustment difficulties, e.g. bereavement/ cultural conflicts/physical illness
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Personality problems

The Specialist Psychotherapies Service provides assessments and a range of therapeutic interventions in individual and group formats. The services available include:

  • Psychodynamic assessment of patients with complex psychiatric, psychological and social difficulties
  • Individual psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Group psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Compassion Focused Therapy for complex difficulties
  • One day therapeutic programme for people with a diagnosis of Personality disorder
  • Consultation liaison with mental health professionals offering care to patients
  • Consultation and support to acute Psychiatric wards and Mental Health Teams
  • In reach services  to CMHT’s and inpatient teams (in reach is tailored but often involves any of the following: complex case consultation, joint assessment, supervision and reflective groups)

How to access our services

This service is accessible to patients referred by a mental healthcare professional at secondary or specialist level. Speak to your psychiatrist, mental health nurse or other member of your care team about a referral. They will be able to give you a bit more information and if it seems it would be helpful, make a referral.


Once you have been referred, if we think we might be able to help, you will receive a letter inviting you for an initial assessment appointment.

An assessment usually involves meeting on more than one occasion and talking to a therapist about what is troubling you.

The aim of an assessment is to begin to develop a shared understanding of your difficulties and give you an experience of the way in which we work.  Then, on the basis of these meetings, decide whether or not what we offer might be helpful to you.
There is usually a wait between assessment and therapy starting.  During this time your assessor remains the person to contact if your situation changes.  You will remain a patient of your community mental health team during that time, for any ongoing support needs.

We send a summary of the assessment and what has been agreed to the person who referred you to us and your GP.  This is so that they are aware of your involvement with us and can support the therapeutic work as needed.   At the end of your assessment you will be asked if you would like a copy of this summary and have the opportunity to discuss this with your assessor

Therapy sessions

Therapy sessions usually take place once a week, on the same day and time, for up to two years. These sessions usually last 50 minutes for individual therapy or 90 minutes for group therapy.

Therapy sessions provide a space for you to talk about your experiences in the past and present. Your therapist will make links between your past experiences and present relationship patterns and inner feelings and emotions

Outcomes and effectiveness

Psychodynamic therapies have been shown by research to have positive effects for a range of psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.

Further information on the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapies can be found in Psychological, Psychiatric and Medical journals. Please follow the link below for further information on the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapies:


Engaging with and exploring emotions, thoughts and feelings can be a difficult process and for this reason some people find that at the beginning of therapy they feel disturbed by the process and don’t immediately see benefits. As your relationship develops your therapist will be able to help you to better understand and work through difficult emotional reactions and behaviours.

If therapy is too demanding or you find that it is not helpful to you, your therapist will work together with you to review your experience and to understand the best way forward.

Service standards

The Specialist Psychotherapies Service is committed to providing a high quality service within sound professional and ethical frameworks. Our staff receive supervision and regular monitoring to ensure high standards of care.

We are an equal opportunity service providing:

  • Disabled access
  • Interpreters available for people who cannot speak English, or who are hard of hearing.
  • Opportunities for patients to feedback on the service and get involved in work to support service development.

Contact details

The Specialist Psychotherapies Service is based at:

Callum Lodge
242 Lodge Road
Winson Green
B18 5SJ
Tel: 0121 301 3800

For further enquiries please contact the team on 0121 301 3800 or bsmhft.sps@nhs.net

For any concerns unrelated to your therapy, please contact our Customer Relations Team on 0800 953 0045 or email bsmhft.customerrelations@nhs.net

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