iCope: Psychological Therapies


1 July 2020

iCope has developed a new high-intensity, brief, three-session intervention based on the principles of psychological first aid, to help those who are significantly impacted by Covid-19. Referral criteria as below. 

6 May 2020

iCope is providing a tailored response to those affected by Covid-19, which includes:

  • Everyone who self-refers/is referred to Islington iCope will receive a call back within 48 hours, offering practical and emotional support and guidance, to discuss coping skills and to help them decide whether they would like further support. 
  • In addition to the usual psychological treatment for common mental health problems, iCope is offering up to three sessions of therapeutic support for those who are bereaved and are finding it difficult to cope during the Covid-19 outbreak. 
  • iCope is running specialist online webinars for anxiety and low mood during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

iCope Psychological Therapies Service offers treatment for a range of common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, alongside adapted therapy options for people living with long-term physical health conditions (LTC) or medically unexplained symptoms (MUS).

The iCope service offers mostly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) interventions, but other types of therapy are considered where appropriate. All the therapies we offer are recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The staff members in iCope are all trained to a high standard to deliver evidence-based psychological therapies. Staff are either Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP) or Psychological Therapists. All therapists receive regular supervision.

PWPs offer a range of guided self-help interventions for anxiety and low mood using workbooks, online CBT programmes and groups. They can also link you in with activities, employment support and housing. We are based in GP surgeries and community settings.

The service is for adults registered with a Camden GP.

iCope is part of the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and is fully integrated with other services within the Trust. It is also part of the Camden Psychological Therapies Partnership (CPTP), along with Age UK Camden, Camden, City, Islington and Westminster Bereavement Services, Nafsiyat, Women+Health and Ieso

iCope offers a range of short-term psychological interventions for adults presenting with common mental health problems like depression or anxiety. The service provides brief, structured, evidence-based psychological treatment across the range of severity, as long as the person experiencing the difficulties is in a position to safely engage and benefit from treatment.

The main clinical presentations iCope can offer help with are: 

  • 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.
  • 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. flying, needles.
  • panic disorder: recurrent panic attacks with no discernible trigger (unpredictable).
  • generalised anxiety disorder: prominent tension, worry and feelings of apprehension about everyday events and problems.
  • obsessive compulsive disorder: repetitive unpleasant thoughts, commonly leading to repetitive actions in attempt to reduce anxiety (relief is temporary).
  • post-traumatic stress disorder: reliving, avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms following an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic event. (Panic attacks may be present as a symptom in any of the above diagnoses).

As well as face-to-face sessions, groups, workshops, online guided self-help and telephone support are all offered. For a fuller description and a list of planned group sessions, please visit the iCope website below.

Even if a face-to-face session has been requested, it is also worth considering a relevant themed group session that may be available sooner (see website). Group sessions in combination with face-to-face sessions can be and should be used as appropriate.

Eligibility criteria


  • Adults over 18 - there is no upper age limit
  • With depression, anxiety or other common mental health problems
  • With long-term physical health conditions or medically unexplained symptoms
  • With insomnia
  • Who want to access time-limited, structured psychological interventions
  • Registered with a Camden or Islington GP
  • Or living in these boroughs 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
  • Where problems are related to a personality disorder or where there are significant interpersonal difficulties
  • 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

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

Complete referral form and send by email.

e: icopecamden.referrals@candi.nhs.uk 


The quickest way to self-refer is by (link below). Patients can also self-refer by email or by calling 020 3317 6670 (Camden) 7252 (Islington).

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 we 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 us.
  • 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.

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Review date: Friday, 27 January 2023