Woodfield Trauma Service

The Woodfield Trauma Service provides treatment for refugees, asylum seekers and forced migrants suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

7a Woodfield Road
London W9 2NW

United Kingdom

020 7266 9575

AccessAble cnwl




About the service

Woodfield Trauma Service (formerly known as Forced Migration Trauma Service) provides evidence-based cognitive-behavioural treatment. The service is for anyone aged 18 years and over who is registered with a GP in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster or lives in those boroughs.

To be eligible for the service you should be assessed as having a primary diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

What is PTSD?

The symptoms of PTSD can start immediately following a trauma or after a delay of weeks or months. It usually appears within six months after the traumatic event. After a traumatic event a person will have understandable emotional reactions such as grief, depression, anxiety, guilt and anger. There are three main types of symptoms a person with PTSD will show:

  • Re-experiencing the event: Re-experiencing the event can include getting ‘flashbacks’ of the event during the day or nightmares during sleep. These are so realistic that it feels like the experience is being lived all over again. People may see images from the event but also the emotions and physical sensations of what happened such as fear, sweating, smells, sounds and pain. Flashbacks can be triggered by everyday things.
  • Avoidance and numbing: Re-living the traumatic event is a distressing experience. People will distract themselves by avoiding people, places and anything that may remind them of the event and they try not to talk about it. Some people try to deal with the pain by trying to feel nothing at all, they become emotionally numb. They will avoid communicating with people and withdraw.
  • Being ‘on guard’: People with a PTSD diagnosis often feel alert at all times and try and constantly look out for danger. They find it difficult to relax. This is called ‘hypervigilance’. They feel anxious and find it hard to sleep, feel jumpy and irritable.

What can help to manage symptoms?

There are some things that you can do to manage symptoms:

  • Concentrate on slowing your breathing
  • Talk to a friend or family member
  • Eat well and exercise regularly
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol or caffeine
  • When you have a flashback, concentrate on a good image or an object nearby or smell something strong like perfume.

How can the service help?

This service offers three things that can help to reduce your symptoms:

  • Teaching and workshops that will help you manage your symptoms. We provide weekly activity groups to help you feel more confident with others and less lonely.
  • Support to help you identify and take steps towards new goals.
  • Psychological therapy that focuses on talking about what happened in a way to make it feel like it is in the past. This happens weekly with a therapist for up to 20 sessions.

What treatment do we offer?

Treatment follows a stepped-care approach. Service users are offered a specialist PTSD assessment and following this, we work collaboratively to offer stabilisation and social support to patients in phased treatment to enable them to benefit from trauma-focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Group work such as community access groups and symptom management groups as well as psychological education courses are also part of treatment at the service.

How can someone be referred? 

We accept referrals regarding anyone:

  • Who has a history of being an asylum seeker, refugee or forced migrant (i.e. having to leave their country of origin because of trauma and danger)
  • Who has a primary diagnosis of PTSD. If the person is showing signs and symptoms of PTSD, we can assess them.
  • Where PTSD related to an adult trauma such as war, violence, torture or rape. We cannot see people who have experienced trauma in childhood only. Some trauma should have occurred, aged 16 and over.
  • Generally, the trauma will have occurred in the service users place of origin. We will be consider referrals from an asylum seeker, refugee or forced migrant who has experienced UK- based trauma.

Download a referral form (opens word document)

We accept referrals from the following:

  • GP surgeries
  • Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs)
  • Secondary care
  • Duty teams
  • Talking Therapies Services (formerly Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services or IAPT services)

Our groups

We hold regular groups for people using the Woodfield Trauma Service. For more information, visit our group events page.


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