Adult psychology service

Brain cogs.jpgWho we are and what we do

The Adult Psychology Service (APS) provides psychological interventions to individuals who are under the care of a community mental health team (CMHT) in Dorset. The service consists of counselling and clinical psychologists, specialist therapists with backgrounds in nursing and occupational therapy, art therapists, a family and systems practitioner, and assistant and trainee psychologists.

Psychological interventions are delivered in individual, family, or group format, conducted either in person or via online platforms. In addition, our staff also offer training, supervision and consultation to CMHT staff and other staff groups to ensure they are also able to work psychologically in the most clinically effective way. They are all scientific evidence based practice.

Referral and assessment

You can be referred for a psychology assessment if you are under the care of a CMHT in Dorset. Your named professional in the CMHT will initially have a discussion with the team psychologist to see if an assessment could be helpful. They may also ask you to complete a psychological needs form to aid the discussion.  This is to help them understand more about how you see your difficulties and what you feel you might need help with.

If it is agreed that it is the right time to make a referral, the CMHT psychologist will typically then arrange an assessment appointment with you. The CMHT psychologist will aim to offer an assessment appointment within a month.  On occasion a referrer may ask for support to help them work more effectively with you and we can offer an intervention indirectly through them instead.

Next steps

An initial psychological assessment can be a stand-alone intervention, leading to greater psychological understanding of yourself, but will often lead to a plan of psychological treatment. The psychologist will discuss with you which therapy, if any, could be of benefit to you.

If you are offered psychological treatment, you will be asked to view a short orientation video before being placed on the waiting list for treatment.  This is to help you know what to expect from psychology and what is expected from you.  It is designed to help you make a more informed decision about whether now is the right time for you to start therapy.

Therapeutic interventions

Psychological interventions are offered in the form of psycho-educational courses as well as one to one therapy.  The courses can be offered as a stand-alone intervention, or to help you develop the skills to prepare you for one to one therapy

After you have completed one of ours courses you will be offered a review appointment with a psychologist to consider next steps of treatment. This could be another course or starting individual therapy with a counselling or clinical psychologist or specialist therapist. Individual interventions can also be offered directly after initial assessment is complete.

Family and systems support 

This service is designed to help identify difficulties within a family and other social supporters/ group around an individual with MH problems. This intervention can be useful when family or social supporters may want to try and work together to resolve these challenges.

We encourage as many members of the household or support system as possible to contribute to the assessment process. This is because if something is troubling one member of a group, it has an effect on all the other members of that group, young and old. The service is set up and designed to work with people who are on CPA and the people around them who are supporting or caring for them.

Contact us

Tel: 01305 361700 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)


Compliments, concerns and complaints

Mental Health and learning disabilities