Your Treatment

Explore Sowenna High Dependency Area in 3D

Nursing care

Nursing is the main form of treatment you will receive at Sowenna. The nurses will work closely with you to help you understand some of your difficulties and help you to think about how to make changes. The day today activities and structure of the unit allow the nurses to make a good assessment of your needs and offer opportunities for you to try out new ways of doing things. This is not always easy and often requires hard work from you. The nurses will support you and your family throughout this process.

Individual work and therapy

This talking one-to-one with a nurse or sometimes with another member of staff (for example, a psychologist or social worker). This one-to-one time provides you with the opportunity to reflect on and make sense of the issues that are important to you. Anything you say in your individual work will normally be kept private from your parents unless there are issues of safety (see ‘’confidentiality’’).

Your Link Worker

Your Link worker will be a named member of the multidisciplinary clinical team. He or she will be responsible for keeping in close contact with you and the members of your clinical team, within the framework of your Care Programme Approach (CPA) also known as your Care Plan.

He or she will also ensure that:

  • You and your care team discuss and agree your Care Plan together.
  • Regular reviews take place (approximately every six weeks).
  • Your Care Plans are monitored and regularly reviewed, ensuring that progress is recorded.
  • They are a consistent point of contact for you, your carers and other professionals.
  • They are on request for you to meet with to discuss all issues relating to your care plan.

You will also have two trained nurses (one primary one secondary) who will support you, along with your Link Worker. One of the nurses will be involved in your family work with the Link Worker and the other will meet with you for an hour a week for individual sessions.

Additionally, your Care Team may feel you need to meet with a psychologist, social worker or other member of the wider team.

You may also ask your care team if you wish to see any of the above people and they will pass on your request.

Family Work

An important part of your treatment involves meeting fortnightly (unless agreed otherwise) with your parents, carers /or other members of your family. These sessions will be supported by your Link Worker and a nurse from your care team.

Often, young people find attending these sessions difficult as, on occasions, it is important, however, that all family members or carers develop a greater understanding of your difficulties and needs so that they may better support you during and after your admission.

As a family unit we understand the difficulties that parents or carers experience when their child is admitted to an adolescent unit and are committed to offering parents and siblings advice and support around aspects of your treatment. We actively encourage regular contact with family members, and time at home, and believe that families play a crucial role in promoting recovery.

Our trained nursing staff provide ‘frontline’ support and it is anticipated that parents will feed back to them how the weekend has gone so that the care team can offer the most appropriate support and advice.

The unit is a training hospital with students from a range of disciplines. Your permission will be sought prior to students attending family sessions or other meetings.


Sowenna’s psychiatric team consists of two consultant psychiatrists (One full time and one part time between Sowenna and the CAMHS Crisis Team), senior trainee (ST4-6), staff grade and junior doctor (CT2-3).?!

This medical team will provide evidence-based clinical treatment including psychopharmacology for various conditions including major psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. The medical team or psychiatrists will oversee the treatment plans for all patients, working with the multidisciplinary team daily and in the weekly ward reviews.

The psychiatrist will be available to meet with all the adolescent patients and families to ensure the delivery of the most effective and safe treatment possible.

Clinical psychology

You or your family may meet with a clinical psychologist. The clinical psychologist is often involved in contributing to your assessment while at Sowenna. The assessment information can help the team to reach a diagnosis of your difficulties. The assessment is also used to formulate an understanding of what is happening for you and what intervention, therapy or psycho-education is personally best for you. Your time with a clinical psychologist is confidential. However, you will often be encouraged to share information with some family members, where this will support your treatment. Information will also be shared with the team where necessary. An assistant psychologist will sometimes be involved in the assessment, formulation and intervention process.    

Family therapy

Family therapy at Sowenna can give patients and their family members the opportunity to talk together, developing ideas around the support they each need, and the support they can give to each other. We think that talking with a family about their relationships and patterns of behaviour can help them develop and strengthen skills they already have, as well as helping our team to understand what else we may need to do to help.

At Sowenna we sometimes use a one-way screen, as this means we can invite other members of a young person’s care team to observe a session without being in the room with us. They can help our thinking in the session by joining us part way through to share their ideas.

Social work

Our social worker works with families and young people experiencing a range of social difficulties and is in close liaison with Children’s Social Service’s Teams.

The social worker offers carers’ assessments. These carers’ assessments aim to identify strengths and difficulties within the young person’s carer system, and consider how these can be addressed to best support the young person in their treatment.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy aims to help young people establish a balance of purposeful activities that allow for creative, physical and social development. They work closely with the teaching and nursing staff, through group activities and the ward timetable.

Occupational Therapists can adapt an activity to make it manageable for you and can problem solve with you to overcome obstacles.

The structure of the unit and range of group work activities provide many opportunities for you to develop your life skills, equipping you for life beyond the unit. We ask young people to engage in opportunities to participate in the group activities on the unit, though we recognise that this can bring challenges. The emphasis is on what young people can get out of an activity rather than necessarily being brilliant at it.

Engagement in groups is also essential for us to be able to get a clear picture of your skills and can lead to benefits for future planning and in terms of your being better understood. Other benefits you may get from being with others in groups include socialising, working together towards a group goal, creating something unique and generally gaining confidence in your peer group.

In the holiday periods, Occupational Therapists, along with the nurses, continue to provide a unit programme of purposeful activity for young people.

Individual work

Occupational therapists also work with young people individually to assess how you manage and your skills to cope in each area of your life. They may then work with you to develop the skills that will help you achieve your goals. This assessment work might also be useful to promote others’ understanding of your needs or to help you to adapt to your future environment.