Why is WCTS different?

Whilst there has been an expansion in therapy services in primary care for those with mild to moderate mental health issues with the development of IAPT services (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) there has not been a corresponding expansion in therapy services for those with more severe mental health needs. Statutory services usually only offer a maximum 26 weeks of therapy which is often not sufficient to support women with complex difficulties into recovery. There are rarely crèche facilities and women are unable to be assured a female therapist or a women only space.

Why a women-only service?

A Department of Health’s document ‘Women’s Mental Health: Into The Mainstream’ stated that: ‘Gender is a key issue that influences an individual’s experience of the world and therefore gender issues should be incorporated into research, service planning, delivery and evaluation.’ Furthermore it said: ‘Reasons for women-only developments include:

  • The expressed preferences of women to ensure choice is available.
  • Specific gender, cultural or religious needs.
  • The generation of a safe environment which has particular relevance for specific groups of women, such as those with experience of sexual violence.’

WCTS service users have clearly identified the need for a women only service. They have said in the annual WCTS service-user feedback events that having female therapists enables them to talk more freely, feel understood, and recover and develop their self respect and confidence. They have said it is less intimidating than speaking to a man, it is easier to be oneself and to be self-critical and the power balance feels easier to manage.

Why low-cost?

Alongside providing a women only service and space in Leeds, WCTS’s service is aimed at women on low income. A recent Mental Health Needs Assessment undertaken by the NHS in Leeds has highlighted a number of issues.

  • Poverty has an important impact on the prevalence of mental health.
  • Those living in the poorer areas of Leeds are more likely to experience mental health problems. This is confirmed by the Marmot review.
  • In addition women are more likely to be experiencing poverty and employment rates for women are significantly below average in Leeds.
  • Private therapy will usually be out of the financial reach of these women.


We are members of the LGBT Consortium and welcome LGBT clients

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WCTS    Portland House    5 Portland Street    Leeds    LS1 3DR


Registered charity number: 1145377  Website design Wingfinger Graphics, Leeds