Referral Criteria for Professionals

What is an IAPT service?

IAPT is the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. Each borough has an IAPT service. The service is for adults (and older adults) over 18 years of age, registered with a GP in the borough, who have Anxiety and/or Depression, and who are likely to benefit from brief psychological therapy.

Please note this is not a crisis service

What does the IAPT service offer?

Individual and group psychological therapies (e.g. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and counselling in accordance with the NICE guidelines for common mental health problems.

All referrals to service are screened to confirm this is the most appropriate clinical service at this time. If screened as appropriate, the client is offered an assessment with one of our staff either on the phone or face-to-face.

We offer Signposting to other services where these are appropriate to the needs of the client.

Who does IAPT see?

People with mild to moderate mental health issues, generally in Case Clusters 1-3, including the following:

  • Depression
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Health Anxiety and Medically Unexplained Symptoms
  • Social Phobia
  • Specific Phobia
  • Single incident Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Anger (where there is NO history of actual physical violence to others)
  • Anxiety/ depression in people with long term conditions
  • Anxiety/ depression in carers
  • Post natal anxiety/depression

People are required to be:

  • Motivated to attend and engage in regular psychological therapy
  • A low level of risk to self and others

Who IAPT does not see?

IAPT services CANNOT offer treatment for people with the following difficulties as they are unlikely to benefit from the brief, structured interventions we provide:

  • Active risk of harm to self/ current suicidal intent or recent suicide attempt or still in crisis.
  • Active risk of harm to others or recent history of violence.
  • Ongoing, active, or relapsing symptoms of SEMH/ psychosis or manic / hypomanic episodes,
  • A diagnosed personality disorder or personality traits that would make engagement in a brief psychological intervention likely to be ineffective, unhelpful and contravene NICE guidance 
  • Complex needs requiring multi-disciplinary input or longer-term psychological input e.g. severe OCD, chronic agoraphobia, complex PTSD (i.e. repeated/ongoing trauma; victims of significant torture).
  • Drug and alcohol misuse as a primary problem, or a level of misuse suggestive of dependency. 
  • Significant psychosocial factors which prevent engagement in regular psychological therapy and/or requiring MDT input (e.g. significant housing issues).
  • Significant physical health conditions which prevent engagement in regular psychological therapy.
  • Where ongoing home visits are required.

Not sure if IAPT is the appropriate service?

If you feel someone may benefit from contact with an IAPT service, please feel welcome to contact us by phone to discuss before making a referral on our referral form.