Barnet Complex Emotional Needs Pathway

  • Barnet CEN Pathway Team offers a specialist outpatient assessment and treatment service to people living in the London Borough of Barnet who have complex emotional needs, have experienced trauma and have personality difficulties.

    We support and enable people to understand, manage and improve emotional difficulties and interpersonal relationships. Our aim is to support service users on a journey of self-discovery to work towards a life worth living and to understand and work with barriers preventing a meaningful recovery. 

  • Borough(s): Barnet
  • Email:
  • Age range treated: 18-65
  • Address:
    Ground Floor (Level 2) Springwell Centre,  Barnet General Hospital,  Wellhouse Lane, Barnet, EN5 3DJ
  • Phone number: 020 8702 4033 / 0208 702 4394

Conditions treated

Complex Emotional Needs, Cluster B Personality Disorders, Attachment style related difficulties

How to access this service

We accept referrals from colleagues based within the community mental health teams in Barnet.  At present, we are unable to accept self-referrals or referrals from GPs. The first step after referral is a comprehensive assessment, which usually takes place over several meetings.

We embrace a hybrid working model which means our therapeutic sessions may be delivered face-2-face but also online.

What to expect

Barnet CEN Pathway Team is a dedicated, non-forensic, multidisciplinary team for service users experiencing moderate to severe emotional and interpersonal difficulties sometimes associated with ‘personality disorder’ diagnoses. 

We are a dynamic and creative team with numerous skillsets. Our aim is to provide high-quality clinical interventions which not only address the psychological needs of service users but also recognising the importance of supporting service users to develop the necessary practical skills of everyday life as a fundamental steppingstone to engage in psychological work.

This service offers the following treatment pathways and interventions:


  • Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) Pathway. MBT is one of the treatments recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence for difficulties described as complex emotional needs or ‘personality disorder’. MBT consists of a short-term psycho-education group, followed by an 18-month, twice-weekly treatment programme, which is made up of individual and group therapy sessions.
  • As a part of the MBT pathway we offer an art psychotherapy group to offer a choice of expression, exploration, and therapeutic process, through visual media. 
  • A small Structured Clinical Treatment Pathway (SCM) for 18-25 service users, offering individual and group therapeutic work within a framework based on the Structured Clinical Management (SCM) model. The SCM model supports service-users to develop and build a psychological understanding of their experiences and difficulties, working towards personal goals; social care needs and crisis planning.
  • We also offer skills-based and psychologically informed group interventions which aim to increase understanding of individual strengths. These groups are based within the context of trauma-informed care and aim to provide both education and skills to understand and manage difficult emotional states.
  • We provide support for friends, family and significant others. This includes facilitating meetings with the person accessing the service and a friend or family member, and educational groups.
  • 1-2-1 or group peer support with lived experience practitioners (LXPs). LXPs have an essential role within our team, working in a person-centred way, occasionally drawing on their own experiences of mental health difficulties and navigating mental health systems. Also supporting people to access community resources pre, during, and post interventions.
  • A specialist consultation and liaison service (CALS) is available to support colleagues working with service users with complex emotional needs in acute and community services across the borough.
  • We provide and deliver several training packages, including KUF (knowledge and understanding framework) training for clinical and non-clinical staff working with service users experiencing complex emotional difficulties, or have received a diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’.
  • The team is working in close partnership with other mental health teams and community organisations in Barnet, our service also offers support to help people engage in education, voluntary or paid employment, and other social and inclusion opportunities.

Useful Information

Our location: 

Image shows the location of the Barnet Complex Emotional Needs Pathway

What are difficulties relating to Complex Emotional Needs and/or ‘personality disorder’?

Our personality is the collection of characteristics that make us distinctive as people. Most people develop enough awareness of their personality characteristics and, most of the time, can keep them in good enough balance that they can do what they need to do in life, be reasonably happy most of the time and have stable relationships which satisfy them and others. Unfortunately, some people experience persistent distress in their lives, and it is these experiences which contribute to them being described as having a ‘personality disorder’. An example of such experiences and difficulties may include (list not exhaustive):

  • An enduring pattern of emotional and cognitive difficulties affecting the way in which the person relates to others or understands themselves.
  • Experiences of trauma and adversity in childhood and early adolescence.
  • Social and environmental factors – poverty, deprivation, migration etc.
  • Attachment and relationship difficulties.
  • Physical and genetic factors which might make it difficult to read the emotions of others and regulate our own emotions.

Please see the following document link for more information: The Consensus Statement for People with Complex Mental Health Difficulties who are diagnosed with a Personality Disorder.  [pdf]
We also recommend the following document for further reading ‘Meeting the Challenge, Making the Difference’ which you can access here:  Meeting the Challenge Making a Difference [pdf] 4MB

Get Involved & Have Your Say!

Barnet Service User and Carer Forum runs on the third Thursday of every month. 
We want to hear what you have to say about Adult Mental Health services in Barnet. We are setting up a regular forum and need you to get involved to feedback your experiences and share your ideas.
The forum encourages and promotes service users and carers working alongside staff to coproduce services.

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