Psychology and Psychotherapy Service

Our Psychology and Psychotherapy Service employs a range of staff from different professional backgrounds, including psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy and highly experienced counsellors.

We offer a range of psychological approaches and therapies to service users across the age range from 18 upwards, who meet the criteria for secondary care services. These include individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. We also offer cognitive and neuropsychological assessments. Some of our staff work specifically with older adults or with people experiencing psychosis.

We work alongside other professionals and multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs), and consultancy work, reflective practice groups, teaching, training and supervision groups are also accessible to staff groups in our Trust. As a teaching Trust, we provide training placements for a variety of professions and sometimes are able to offer work experience placements. In addition, service evaluation and research projects are undertaken to help us evaluate and improve the way we offer our service.

We host an active Service User Reference Group (SURG) for members to share their experiences with us with the aim of improving our services.

Our Psychology and Psychotherapy Service is open from 08.30am to 5.00pm.

What is psychotherapy?

This may be referred to as talking therapy. Psychological practitioners understand distress as a coping strategy, a consequence of things that have happened in life and/or arising from significant relationships in your life. This means that any treatment will be about exploring and understanding these relationships and events. From this new understanding of your distress, you will then discover new or different ways of managing/coping with your feelings and behaviour in a way that helps you in your life and relationships.

There are different types of therapy models that can be used to do this. Though therapies may differ in the way they help people to understand and resolve their distress there are some similarities.

For example therapy will involve you developing a therapeutic relationship with your therapist. This relationship will allow issues relating to trust, respect and understanding to be considered.

Therapy will generally involve you attending on a weekly basis for about an hour if 1:1 therapy or longer if group therapy. It will be important for you to consider whether you are ready to talk about potentially distressing things, though your therapist will be able to help you with this if you are unsure. The number of sessions a person requires may vary.

The UK Council for Psychotherapy website has further information.


To access our Psychology & Psychotherapy Service, you will need a referral. A mental health worker in primary care can refer you. Alternatively, if you are under the care of a care co-ordinator or a psychiatrist, then they can refer you.

Leeds has a stepped care model. Please discuss your difficulties with your GP first. They will be able to advise and refer you on appropriately. Most of the time, if you are not already being seen within our Trust the first step would be to meet with a primary mental health care worker. They can assess what help is most appropriate to offer you first. This can include group psycho-education, guided self-help and psychological therapy sessions. More details can be found on the Leeds Primary Care Mental Health website.

Our Psychology & Psychotherapy Service offers specialist assessment and therapy. If you have had psychological therapy but found it of limited benefit or you need a psychological therapy not offered by the Primary Care Mental Health Team, then a referral to the Psychology & Psychotherapy Service may be appropriate.

What happens when you are referred

When your referral has been received and accepted you will be placed on the waiting list for assessment for therapy. You will be sent a letter to confirm this. How long you wait can vary according to current demand for the service. Once you have reached the top of the waiting list, you will be sent a letter asking you to contact the service to arrange your first appointment.

What to do while you are waiting

If you feel your mental health is deteriorating then please contact your GP. If you are already receiving care then you can contact the team you are seeing.

Mindwell logoIf you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling or about your concerns please visit Mindwell.

The Mindwell portal is the single ‘go to’ place for information about mental health in Leeds It allows anyone living or working in Leeds, including GPs and other professionals, to get quick, easy and direct access to up-to-date mental health information, including:

  • clear, accurate information about support and services available in Leeds
  • information about a range of common mental health problems such as anxiety and stress
  • self-help tools and information including downloadable resources, videos and animations.

MindWell is a city-wide initiative funded by the NHS which brings together resources, materials and knowledge from across the NHS in Leeds, Leeds City Council and the third sector.


You will be seen for an initial assessment by a psychological therapist and, if appropriate, offered therapy. Therapy may be conducted in a confidential group setting or during one to one appointments.

An initial assessment is the first meeting between you and your therapist. The therapist might ask you about:

  • your thoughts, behaviours and feelings
  • your life circumstances
  • anything else affecting you.

The emphasis is not on trying to diagnose a specific problem but on trying to establish what your needs are and what therapy might help you manage your situation.

If therapy is felt to be suitable then this will be negotiated with you and begin immediately.

Sometimes at this point, you and your therapist may feel another type of therapy or therapist would suit your needs better. This can be arranged with limited delay.

If at this time therapy is felt to be unsuitable, then this will be discussed with you, reasons given and any recommendations. This may include referral to other services.

Therapy sessions

The assessment stage (finding out about you) might last several sessions and it may overlap with interventions/therapy.

Therapy sessions are individual to you and many different factors influence what they are like. They last for about 50 to 60 minutes each and are at a set time and on a set day agreed by you and your therapist.

The Psychology & Psychotherapy Service offers a range of therapies including:

Missing appointments

It is important to attend appointments but occasionally people need to cancel an appointment. If you can’t attend, then you need to ring your therapist (their contact details are on your first appointment letter) as soon as possible.

Missing appointments or just not turning up leads to wasted sessions that other people could have used. This means longer waiting times.


If you require an interpreter, please indicate this on the registration form you receive from us in the post.

Voices and Values in Psychology and Psychotherapy Services – service user involvement group

Voices and Values in Psychology and Psychotherapy Services (VIPS) is the service user involvement group for our Trust’s Psychology and Psychotherapy Service.

The group meets to discuss the service and members are encouraged to share their knowledge, views and experience on what is working well at our Trust and their thoughts on areas that could be improved.

Regular speakers attend the meetings to cover topics such as medication, psychodynamic psychotherapy and behavioural family therapy.

Who is in the group?
Members of the group all have lived experience and are either service users who are currently using the service, people who have used the service in the past or staff members from the service. Some of the members of the group are still in therapy and some have finished therapy.

How can you join?
To join VIPS please get in touch with one of the group’s members:

  • call Bob Lawrence on 0113 85 58221
  • call Sue Webb on 01943 467280
  • call Gina Wills on 0113 85 55587
Get in touch

Our Psychology and Psychotherapy Service is based out of several locations across Leeds and can be contacted on the following telephone numbers:

  • our South South West (SSW) Locality Team are based at Aire Court and can be contacted on 0113 85 50679
  • our East North East (ENE) Locality Team are based at St. Mary’s House and can be contacted on 0113 85 58221
  • Our West North West (WNW) Locality Team is based at three locations.  To reach the team based at The Resource Centre at St Mary’s Hospital please call 0113 85 55102.  To reach the team based at South Wing, St Mary’s House please call 0113 85 58850.  To reach our team based at Lea House please call 0113 85 56262

When you begin treatment with our Psychology and Psychotherapy Service you will receive an appointment letter which tells you the correct number to call to contact the team who is looking after you.

Fax numbers for the above teams are as follows:

SSW Locality Team

  • Aire Court, fax: 0113 85 50672

ENE Locality Team

  • St. Mary’s House, fax: 0113 85 52492

WNW Locality Team

  • St Mary’s Hospital, fax: 0113 855 5058
  • South Wing, St Mary’s House, fax: 0113 8558853
  • Lea House, fax: 0113 855 6261


How to find us?