iCope: Psychological Therapies


What iCope does:

iCope offers a range of short-term psychological interventions to adults presenting with common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. iCope also offers adapted therapy options for people living with long-term physical health conditions (LTC) or persistent physical symptoms (previously referred to as MUS); more information about this can be found on the physical health problems page of iCope's website.

The majority of interventions are theoretically grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)- a time-limited, goal focussed talking therapy. iCope also has a small provision to offer other types of therapy where appropriate. All the therapies offered are recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Who iCope sees:

The iCope service is for adults (aged 17.5 and above) who are registered with a GP in Camden or Islington.  iCope also accept referrals for adults who live in either borough but are registered with a GP elsewhere.

Problems iCope works with:

The main clinical presentations iCope can offer help with are listed below:

  • depression – low mood, reduced energy and motivation, poor concentration, sleep and appetite disturbance, loss of enjoyment, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, feelings of hopelessness and suicidal ideation
  • agoraphobia – fear of crowds, public places, travelling alone or travelling away from home
    • please note, iCope is unable to offer home visits so if someone has not been able to leave the house for a significant period of time, the client may be more suitable for secondary care services
  • social phobia – fear of social situations such as speaking or eating in public, group situations, meeting strangers
  • specific phobia – fear of something specific e.g., spiders, needles
  • panic disorder – recurrent panic attacks with no discernible trigger (unpredictable).
  • generalised anxiety disorder – feeling restless and worried, finding it hard to relax, worry and feelings of apprehension about everyday events and problems
  • obsessive compulsive disorder – repetitive unpleasant intrusive thoughts, commonly leading to repetitive actions in attempt to reduce anxiety (relief is temporary)
  • body dysmorphic disorder – worrying a lot about a specific area of your body, spending a significant periods of time comparing appearance to others, checking for ‘flaws’ in the mirror or being very avoidant of mirrors/looking at appearance
  • illness anxiety – constant worry/preoccupation with health and the idea of being unwell, frequent checking body for signs of illness (e.g., lumps, tingling or pain), asking for reassurance from medical professionals, obsessively looking up information about health on the internet
  • primary insomnia – finding it hard to fall asleep, waking up a lot during the night, feeling tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate in the day because of poor sleep
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (excluding complex PTSD-trauma relating to multiple events) – experiencing nightmares and flashbacks relating to an exceptionally threatening, frightening, or distressing event. Avoidance of thinking about what happened and any triggers that might remind someone of the event, hyperarousal symptoms which may lead to panic attacks, insomnia, restlessness, and irritability.

Referral process

When a patient is referred to iCope, the team will review the information available at point of referral to consider if iCope is the service best placed to help the patient. 

If the team feels the patient has needs that are too high or complex for iCope, they will respond by signposting the client to a different service or team.  

Please see the Who we see in iCope document for a more comprehensive list of inclusion and exclusion criteria for a referral; this can be found in Downloads.

Before making a referral, clinicians should consider the following:

  • is the main problem the patient needs help with related to substance misuse? 
    • if so, consider referring to local substance misuse services
  • does the patient need urgent help or support because of suicidal thoughts or self-harming? 
    • if so, please refer to local mental health crisis team
  • does the patient need practical support with housing, finances, legal disputes, etc.?
    • if so, please consider referring to a social prescriber or other community-based support
  • is the patient able to engage in a short term, structured, goal-focused therapy? 
    • if not, iCope would recommend they are not referred in the first instance but considered for other types of practical/emotional support, e.g., social prescribing. Patients can always be considered for a referral to iCope at a later date when more able to make use of what is offered.

Eligibility criteria


Please see the Who we see in iCope document (Downloads) for a more comprehensive list of inclusion and exclusion criteria for a referral.


  • over 17.5 years old (there is no upper age limit)
  • with depression, anxiety or other common mental health problems
  • with long-term physical health conditions or persistent physical symptoms
  • with insomnia
  • who want to access time-limited, structured psychological interventions
  • registered with a Camden or Islington GP
  • working in health or social care within NCL
  • living in Camden or Islington and not registered with a GP (they will be encouraged to register).


  • children (aged < 17.5 years)
  • adults presenting with serious mental health problems (not anxiety or depression), and other specialist or complex difficulties:
    • psychosis
    • bipolar disorder (except if currently depressed with no recent mood elevation, and looking for psychological therapy for depression)
    • problems related to a personality disorder or people who have significant interpersonal difficulties
    • significant alcohol or drug use
    • eating disorder
    • anger management (that is not secondary to anxiety or depression)
    • moderate-severe learning disability.
  • are actively suicidal or a risk to others
  • have severe problems with alcohol or drug misuse
  • are already under the care of other specialist mental health services
  • require secondary (specialist) mental health care involving a multi-disciplinary team approach. This includes people who will not engage with secondary care or are waiting to be seen
  • have had several unsuccessful attempts at treatment with iCope previously (a clinical discussion with the GP may be helpful in these situations)
  • adults whose primary request is for diagnosis or medication, or who are not wanting or able to work psychologically.

How to refer

iCope: Health professional online referral

The quickest way to refer is via the iCope website.

Please note that for patients with more complex needs (for example, where there are risk concerns, a history of contact with mental health difficulties or previous contact with mental health services) it would be more helpful to receive a GP referral as this helps to ensure iCope have adequate information when deciding on the next steps.

If you have any questions about suitability for the iCope service you can seek advice from the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner or Psychological Therapist linked to your practice. If you do not know the clinician in your practice, you can contact iCope.

Where a patient has more complex mental health needs you can also consult with the Practice Based Mental Health Team, who will be able to advise about the most suitable service, and will liaise with iCope if necessary.

EMIS form

Referral methods: e-Referrals, Email

Where to find the form

Camden: Camden EMIS forms page > iCope Referral Form

Islington: ISL global documents > Mental Health > Islington iCope Referral form 2017 (includes Integrated IAPT)

e: Icope.Referrals@Candi.nhs.uk

Editable PDF / Word document Download Form

Referral methods: Email


Select Download Form and complete the referral form. Send by email to:
e: icopecamden.referrals@candi.nhs.uk 


Download the referral form from the Downloads section and email to:
e: icopeislington.referrals@candi.nhs.uk


Patients can also self-refer via the website.

Alternatively, they can call:
t: 020 3317 6670 (Camden) 7252 (Islington).

Provided By

Service Feedback


General Services

Adult Safeguarding

Child Safeguarding

Community Services

Navigating Self-Care

Urgent & Emergency Care for Adults

Urgent & Emergency Care for Children

Review date: Saturday, 31 August 2024