Our forensic services are delivered in the Portman Clinic.
These service are for people who suffer with problems arising from their criminal or violent behaviour, or as a result of them acting on their sexual impulses which causes harm or damage to themselves or others.
Why refer to this service?
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2008, the Portman Clinic has a long history of experience and expertise in the effective assessment and treatment of people who suffer with problems arising from delinquent, criminal or violent behaviour or from disturbing and damaging sexual behaviour or experiences.
We are committed to providing services for individuals who may be excluded or rejected by other services because of their past or present behaviour. It is part of our approach to think about these and all other aspects of people’s lives in a respectful and sensitive way.
We have a multi-disciplinary team made up of staff trained and experienced in psychiatry, social/probation work, psychotherapy, psychology and nursing. Most have had further psychotherapeutic training to work with children and/or adults. We draw on individual team members’ expertise as appropriate, allowing for a more comprehensive and effective service overall. It is our aim that first appointments for assessments are offered within 11 weeks of referral.
The Portman Clinic offers a highly specialised long-term psychotherapy service to adults as well as to children and young people. Following a careful assessment, the patient may be offered individual or group psychotherapy as appropriate; on some occasions couple or family psychotherapy may be offered.
We first conduct an assessment. This is an exploratory discussion of the patient’s concerns and difficulties in the context of their history, and is intended to be helpful in its own right. This can consist of up to six appointments, over a varying period of time.
Subsequent treatment recommendations, where appropriate, will be discussed with the patient, and the referrer will be informed of the outcome. Sometimes an assessment only may be offered to provide assistance to colleagues in the local services who are looking after a patient. On being offered a regular treatment vacancy, the patient may be seen individually.
Appointments are usually once-weekly, although this can vary depending on both need and the availability of treatment vacancies. Where the referred patient is a child, it is expected that some work may also take place with family members.
The active support of the referrer, particularly in the case of a child in treatment, is often essential to effective treatment. Alternatively, patients may be seen in carefully selected groups: problem-specific or more generic groups. Group therapy sessions are weekly and it is recommended that patients are able to commit to at least two years.
Couples or families may be seen for exploratory meetings, either leading to regular treatment sessions or to individuals being offered individual or group treatment. The vast majority of our patients have had previous treatment in other services, often relatively short-term, and often only temporarily or partially successful.
In accordance with government guidelines for the treatment of Anti-Social Behaviour Disorder we usually offer longer-term treatment than most services. Forensic patients and those suffering with personality disorders usually need longer term engagement with services and hence our treatment is usually offered as open ended.
The Portman Clinic also provides risk assessments and court reports for both civil and criminal courts. Referrals for these largely emanate from the legal profession, Children's Guardians or, in matters of the future welfare of a child, from the social services department.
How to refer
The Portman Clinic has a regional specialist contract covering London, which allows open access, for professionals and patients themselves, to our services. Referrals are also accepted from anywhere in the UK. Many of our patients are referred by their GP or following contact with a psychiatrist, probation officer, social worker, psychologist or other professional, for example, from within the criminal justice system.
As a result of the specialist London contract, London-based patients can self-refer, although we would normally require details of the GP in order to arrange NHS funding. The sensitive nature of the difficulties they are dealing with means patients may find it very difficult to talk to their GP, even if they are desperate for help. The possibility of self-referral means they can access the help they need.
Please call 020 8938 2600 for more information or to discuss a possible referral.
To refer a patient a written request is required, addressed to:
Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
8 Fitzjohns Avenue
London NW3 5NA