Therapy Programmes

Priory hospitals provide an extensive range of therapy services including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and specialist treatment packages. 

Treatment is delivered in safe, supportive environments that promote individual care, innovative services and positive outcomes. Our goal is to strengthen the personal resources of our patients and to help them function independently with greater knowledge, confidence and self-esteem enabling them to get more out of life.

Therapy for healthcare and addiction services  

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy - to explore and challenge the links between thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms and behaviour
  • Psycho-educational workshops - helping service users to focus on practical areas relating to food, eating and biological aspects of health
  • Exercise and activity classes - dedicated to addressing the physical as well as emotional wellbeing, such as yoga, tai chi, relaxation and exercise classes
  • Psycho-dynamic therapy - to address, express and explore service users’ feelings in a supportive environment
  • Assertiveness therapy - encouraging service users to gain insight into their own behaviour and begin to understand responses from other people, with a focus on personal responsibility
  • Body image therapy - providing an opportunity to challenge cognitive distortions of body shape, and enhance awareness of symbolic meanings that service users attach to their bodies
  • Creative and experiential groups - encouraging different forms of expression, such as art therapy, meditation, mindfulness and psychodrama
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) - for young people with borderline personality disorder, self-harming behaviour or suicidal intention, DBT aims to balance acceptance of the young person’s thoughts and feelings with the need for change in their behaviour
  • Educational and vocational programmes - tailored to the needs and abilities of each young person, with accredited assessment facilities and the opportunity to learn practical skills that can be productively utilised post-discharge

Accessing therapy

With appointments available in the evenings Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings at most sites, patients can access therapy at a time most convenient to them. The first step is to come to the nearest Priory hospital for an initial assessment. This usually takes up to an hour an will identify the issues that need addressing, make any diagnosis if required and draw up the most appropriate treatment plan. There are many different treatment options available including:

Outpatient treatment

Patients attend the hospital for weekly sessions with their consultant psychologist, psychotherapist or therapist. We are able to offer day time, evening and weekend appointments at most sites.

Inpatient treatment

Some patients need a more structured or intense approach to their treatment plan or need to be away from their everyday situation which may be contributing to their condition. This is where inpatient treatment may be recommended. Our hospitals are situated within beautiful surroundings which help to provide a therapeutic and safe environment contributing to their recovery. A dedicated nursing team ensures that all inpatients' needs are met. Inpatients take part in the group psychological programme throughout the day an also have regular sessions with their consultant psychologist,  psychotherapist or therapist. The group psychological programme includes a variety of therapies.

Day patient treatment

We are able to offer day treatment to those patients who require more input than outpatient treatment can provide, but cannot stay in the hospital. This is where patients come to the hospital on specific days and take part in the therapy programme which looks at many different areas of psychology and mental health and also has an emphasis on relapse prevention.Day therapy is ideal when an inpatient stay is impractical or when psychological intervention is preferable to medication.

Length of treatment

The length of treatment depends on the nature and severity of the problem. For example, some can be treated with just six to ten one hour sessions as an outpatient. Others may require treatment as an inpatient.


GPs can refer their patient directly to one of our experienced therapists as well as our consultants within our healthcare and addiction services.

Therapy for secure and step down services

  • Sexual offender treatment programme - the programme is unique to the Priory. It utilises a variety of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic techniques in order for the service user to target and be responsive to individual learning styles
  • Substance misuse treatment programme - the first stage of this higher level programme aims to enhance the knowledge of wide-ranging negative effects and the second stage focuses on relapse prevention and enhances self-esteem
  • Controlling anger and learning to manage it - a cognitive behavioural therapy group helping service users to look at anger. They are encouraged to learn and practice new skills in order to reduce how often they experience strong emotions, their intensity and how long they last
  • Enhanced thinking programme - aims to enhance pro-social behaviour by improving the six cognitive deficits associated with offending through a number of carefully constructed exercises. The deficits are addressed as interpersonal problem solving, cognitive style, self-control, social perspective taking, moral reasoning and critical reasoning 

Priory therapy teams

Our therapy centres are managed by experienced therapy services managers and a lead consultant psychiatrist. Our therapy teams include psychologists, accredited therapists and nurses all of whom:

  • Have undergone extensive training in the specific forms of therapy they deliver
  • Are registered with a professional body
  • Are regularly supervised by a senior colleague
  • Are engaged in continuing professional development
  • Undergo annual appraisals and have measured clinical outcomes for their patients