Coronavirus - changes to this service

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak we have made changes to the way we are delivering this service.

To find out more about the changes to the Specialist Psychotherapy Service please visit shsc.nhs.uk/coronavirus

The Specialist Psychotherapy Service offers treatment, consultation and advice to adults aged 18 and over who are experiencing complex mental health difficulties that have not responded to previous treatment. The service is made up of both men and women from a range professional backgrounds.

We are a tertiary service which means we accept referrals from a range of sources and professionals, including SPA, primary care (GPs or IAPT) and secondary care (Recovery Service).

We also provide specialist education and training to both universities in Sheffield, and actively take part in research projects.

The Specialist Psychotherapy Service is split into two specialist teams, the Mood, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Psychotherapy Service (MAPPS) and the Personality Disorder and Complex Trauma Service.

Mood, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Psychotherapy Service (MAPPS)

This team works with people who are experiencing long-term or recurrent problems related to symptoms that are generally described as:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
  • Anxiety Disorders (for example Social Anxiety and Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression

The people we support may be experiencing difficulties in more than one of these areas and will have tried other first line treatments such as therapy, counselling or medication at least once before being referred to us.

We also provide clinical supervision, consultation on complex cases and training to other professionals.

Personality Disorder and Complex Trauma Service

This team offers direct psychotherapy to service users living with a diagnosis or traits of a Personality Disorder, primarily Emotionally Unstable or Borderline Personality Disorder, and/or Complex Trauma. We offer advice and consultation to other services and teams in the Trust, as well as contributing to postgraduate training programmes.

Waiting times

Once you have been assessed by the team as being likely to benefit from treatment, you will be placed on our waiting list.

Our waiting time from referral to assessment is approximately 18 weeks. Once you have been assessed, there will be a further wait for treatment. 

How is the service accessed?

We accept referrals from healthcare professionals working in primary and secondary services in Sheffield.

If you have a query about making a referral you can call us on 0114 2716920.

You can take a look at our service eligibility and selection criteria by clicking here.

Frequently asked questions

We have put together answers to some frequently asked questions that we hope will help you before or after your appointment. The answers are for both the MAPPS and Personality Disorder and Complex Trauma services.  

Who do I speak to if I am experiencing difficulties with the therapy process?

If you are experiencing difficulties with the therapy process, it may feel uncomfortable to discuss this with your therapist. However, we encourage you to raise these difficulties with your therapist during one of the regular therapy review sessions. If this is not possible we would encourage you to speak to the leads of the services.

How is my information stored and kept confidential?

We take clinical notes which are stored on a secure electronic system. Your information will be kept confidential to those who are involved in your care. This would only change if we are concerned about your safety or the safety of others, and this is something we would discuss with you. More information on the SHSC confidentiality policy can be found here.


If you have any concerns about the storage or confidentiality of your information, or about maintaining privacy when contacting our service from your home, please talk to the service or the clinician you are seeing. 

How do I give feedback or make a complaint

We welcome feedback in order to understand individuals' experiences with the service, consider what has been beneficial and what improvements can be made. We regularly collect service user feedback at the end of assessments and therapy. Your clinician will support you with this.

You can also leave anonymous feedback via Care Opinion below. 

Sharing your feedback on Care Opinion

Care Opinion is an independent organisation that gives you the chance share your experience of using our services, to help us make changes that benefit everyone.

We want you to share honest feedback about our services. Good or bad we want to hear what you think.

You can choose how much detail you want to go into about your personal story, but if there’s anything we could improve on we want to know.

You can give feedback by filling in the form below.