Addiction treatment unit
Addictions are now increasingly common and can affect all of us in some way. Making the decision to seek treatment can be one of the hardest decisions a person has to make, not only on a personal level but also with the competing demands of family, work and daily routine. This is why the Priory Hospital North London offers a flexible range of programmes to treat both substance and behavioural addictions, designed to meet individuals’ needs and lifestyles.
Free initial assessment
A free, confidential initial assessment with an addiction therapist is available to anyone seeking help for an addiction. It may be one of the first opportunities you will have of discussing the addiction with a trained and experienced professional therapist. During the assessment your current lifestyle will be reviewed and the different treatment options will be discussed, with no obligation to commit. If we cannot help, we will always put you in touch with someone who can.
Click here to book your free assessment
The addiction treatment programme
The addiction treatment programme at the Priory Hospital North London is based on the 12-step abstinence model and provides treatment for a wide range of behavioural and substance dependencies including alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, sex, food, computer use, exercise etc.
Programmes are also available to treat the more complex and increasingly common conditions such as poly-addictions or dual diagnosis.
Treatment for most programmes is usually provided on an inpatient basis, typically lasting between four and six weeks. However, the programme can vary in duration and content to suit individuals’ personal circumstances and lifestyle commitments.
The intensity of Priory's carefully planned inpatient programme unleashes a metamorphosis: patients work on themselves for eight or nine hours a day in group therapy, in individual sessions with their psychiatrists and with a wide range of trained therapists. As a result, many of our patients experience more change in one month than they might during years of other treatments.
The treatment programme consists of:
- Consultant or medical assessment
- Detoxification period and medically assisted withdrawal (where necessary)
- Individual and group therapy to help the patient identify the extent of their dependancy problem and address the underlying reasons for the addiction
- Free weekly aftercare support
On successful completion of the full treatment programme, patients are encouraged to attend a free weekly aftercare programme for 12 months, to reinforce the earlier learning and to provide additional support and guidance.
Additionally, patients are encouraged to establish a support network (including family, friends, self help) and to regularly attend appropriate fellowship groups which helps with the ongoing promotion of relapse prevention.
On successful completition of the impatient programme, some patients may benefit from a period of extended care on a daycare or outpatient basis: the duration and intensity of which depends on each individuals needs.
Our family group, which runs weekly, provides information and support to family members and is designed to:
- Help improve the quality of family life
- Help families understand some of the facts and dispel some of the myths about addiction
- Allow family members to learn from the strength and experiences of others
- Involve the family during treatment which helps with relapse prevention after completion of the programme.
Trauma reduction programme
What is it?
A weeklong intensive daycare or inpatient therapy programme, designed to deal with traumatic childhood issues, often present in the background of addicts. These traumas (which do not need to be sexual or physical) can create recurring dysfunctional relationship dynamics with the patient and others. This is called co-dependency.
The treatment can have a significant effect on reducing depression and crucially help to prevent relapse.
Who is it aimed at?
People who, despite recovery from their addictive process, continue to have significant distress around self worth and happiness. This, left untreated, could lead to relapse. This is also a treatment course for those who were children of addictive parents, and who consequently as adults may have dysfunctional relationships.
How does it work?
Participants learn to identify and address family of origin issues which have taken place over many years. The programme enables the individual to resolve some of the grief, shame and anguish associated with their early traumatic experiences, thereby allowing the individual to participate and function more fully with self and others.
Where does it come from?
The Priory Hospital North London has developed this programme based on Pia Mellody’s Post Induction Therapy which is widely used in the USA. The approach uses an eclectic mix with elements of psychoanalytic, gestalt, family systems, transactional analysis and rational emotive therapy, with concepts from Erikson and Rogers.
How do I refer onto the programme?
In the first instance please contact our Intake Co-ordinator on 0208 882 8191, extension 221, who can arrange a free assessment with a senior therapist. Alternatively please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-patient adolescent service
The general adolescent in-patient service at The Priory Hospital North London is an age appropriate facility, situated in a secure area of the hospital. There are 15 beds with en suite single room accommodation and communal areas. The service offers intensive in-patient and day patient care for the assessment and treatment of young people suffering from acute emotional, behavioural and mental health problems.
Who is the service for?
Young people aged between 12—18 who need access to an in-patient facility as they cannot be catered for in a community setting.
The young person may be exhibiting behaviours such as:
- Self harming
- Social withdrawal
- Trauma and abuse issues
Therapeutic programme includes:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy for depression, self awareness, anger and anxiety management
- Schema therapy
- Compassionate mind group
- Individual psychotherapy and counselling
- Creative therapies e.g. psychodrama, art therapy, creative writing
- Family therapy
- Equine assisted psychotherapy
- Recreational activities to promote social confidence and support rehabilitation
The adolescent service is youth orientated, focusing on the individual needs of the young patients. A range of psychodynamic, systemic, behavioural, cognitive and pharmacological approaches are provided. Other features include:
- Same day response assessment requests
- Extensive therapy programme
- Educational provision
- Effective liaison, discharge and aftercare planning
- Calming and contained environment
- Experienced multidisciplinary team approach to co-ordinating and providing care for young people
- Specialists always available
- Advocacy service
Specialist adolescent service - Adolescent OCD/ body dysmorphic disorder treatment
We run a national specialist service for adolescents with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Body Dismorphic Disorder (BDD) on an in-patient, day patient and outpatient basis. The Department of Health has also commissioned in-patient beds for adolescents with treatment refractory OCD and BDD. In-patients should be aged 12—18 but outpatients can be younger. The team is led by Dr David Veale, a renowned specialist in OCD and BDD, alongside a team of cognitive behavioural therapists and mental health nurses.
Self help groups
We provide premises for OCD and BDD self help groups which meet monthly at the Priory Hospital North London:
The OCD support group - meets on the first Sunday of every month from 7pm – 9pm. They offer support to OCD sufferers, carers family and friends.
The BDD support group - meets on the third Sunday of every month from 4pm -6pm. The group is led by clinical psychologist Martin Anson and is open only to the BDD sufferer.
Attendance to both groups is free. For further information contact
The Priory North London also provides a comprehensive out patient service for young children and adolescents up to the age of 18. The service includes access to psychology and psychotherapy and is appropriate for those suffering from:
- Anxiety and depression
- Sleep disorders
- Oppositional conduct disorders
- Autism and aspergers
- Eating disorders
- Trauma and abuse issues
- Early onset psychosis
Daycare service for adolescents
For further information please email email@example.com or call the adolescent unit direct on 080 8882 8191 ext 347
Specialist OCD/BDD programme
The hospital offers intensive treatment programmes for adolescents and adults with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), health anxiety or a specific phobia of vomiting (SPOV). These are offered on an inpatient, day patient, or outpatient basis. All such programmes are based on NICE treatment guidelines that recommend adolescents or adults with OCD or BDD should be offered cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), which includes exposure and response prevention.
An initial assessment for suitability and treatment planning is offered with Dr David Veale and sometimes one of the therapy team. This gives an opportunity for a treatment plan to be jointly agreed with the patient prior to admission. If this is not possible, then an initial assessment may be conducted as a home visit or over the telephone. The admission criteria can be provided on request. A formal assessment of response to treatment is completed on the ward within the first 2 weeks. This assessment is focused on the patient’s ability to engage in treatment. Medication may also be reviewed.
Individuals with OCD or BDD, both adults and adolescents, are normally admitted when they have failed to make progress with outpatient treatment, when their handicap is too severe for outpatient care or for geographical reasons. In some cases, additional diagnoses such as depression, schizophrenia, or disordered eating may make outpatient treatment more complex. Others again may be housebound, be very underweight, have a reversal of their sleep pattern or suffer from obsessional slowness so that attendance as an outpatient has become almost impossible. Adolescents (aged 12 to 17) may be admitted to the adolescent unit.
Individuals receive a thorough psychological understanding of how their solutions have become their problem in order to fully appreciate the implications for successful treatment. The programme is therefore designed to maximise understanding and engagement in the early stages, following which patients are expected to conduct exposure or behavioural experiments at least three times a day, undertake homework diaries daily and complete weekly ratings of outcome. In addition, all staff may model exposure or participate in behavioural experiments to help test out a patient’s beliefs.
- Up to three individual sessions of CBT with their key therapist
- Support from nursing staff in doing exposure and behavioural experiments
- Group CBT sessions which are specific to OCD or BDD
- A range of groups for related problems such as depression, low self–esteem and social anxiety
- Regular monitoring of progress, which is used to audit outcome
- Medication is also reviewed and, since CBT may sometimes have a better outcome when combined with an SSRI or clomipramine, augmentation medication may be offered.
Outpatient or day patient service
Patients may also be treated with a once weekly or more intensive outpatient programme of CBT based around the same treatment philosophy as the inpatient programme.
Partners and relatives are encouraged to meet with the therapy team. The team will want to assess their involvement in the OCD or BDD and they will be advised on how best to support a patient’s treatment.