Trafford Spring Democratic Therapeutic Community

Trafford Spring is a day programme, for up to 10 people, which is based on the Democratic Therapeutic Community (DTC) principles of support, participation and responsibility.  It aims to provide a safe environment for people with emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties. By working together, the group helps each other find healthier ways of dealing with distressing feelings.

Who is it for?

Trafford Spring is a service for people with the kinds of difficulties which often attract the diagnosis of personality disorder. The group is inclusive and values diversity. If you identify with the following experiences or difficulties, then Trafford Spring may be for you:

  • Relationship difficulties
  • Use drugs, alcohol or food to cope with, or numb, distressing feelings
  • Self-harm
  • Have difficulties managing your anger or violence
  • Have been excluded from services in the past
  • Find existing services unsuitable, difficult to use or not of lasting benefit
  • Struggle to maintain contact with existing services
  • Behave impulsively
  • Experience of emotional or physical abuse including sexual abuse

You may also have criminal offences related to these problems. This would not prevent you from being able to attend Spring. If you have outstanding Court matters applications will be considered on an individual basis.


Who is Trafford Spring not suitable for?

  • People whose primary difficulties are associated with psychosis. This exclusion reflects concerns about the needs of and risks to the individual with this treatment approach. We encourage care co-ordinators to discuss possible new referrals with group staff.
  • People with more severe learning disabilities (people with learning difficulties such as dyslexia can be accommodated in the group).
  • People who have a history of sexual offences.

How does it work?

Trafford Spring offers members a chance to explore your difficulties with others as well as hearing about other people's problems and ways of coping more effectively. Group members are given space to think about how they get on with other people and how their problems may relate to this as well as being given feedback from others as to how they are experienced in the group.

Trafford Spring uses high levels of group member participation.  Group members have responsibility for all aspects of the programme including housekeeping, risk management, mutual support and the day to day running of the group.

How long is the programme?

Membership of the group is for two years. The group runs for half a day per week and does not provide a 24-hr crisis support service.  A crisis plan will be agreed with you when you join the service - we will help you with this.

When and where does it take place?

Trafford Spring takes place on a Thursday from 10am to 2.05pm at a community venue in Northenden, South Manchester. For a detailed breakdown of the day please read the information leaflet which is available here.

Being referred

Trafford Spring accepts referrals from Community Mental Health Teams, GPs in Trafford, Home Based Treatment Team, and Probation Service. Applicants need to be resident and registered with a GP in Trafford.

Anyone considering a referral is encouraged to discuss this with a staff member beforehand and there is an opportunity to meet with staff and a group member to help with the referral process. If you think Trafford Spring TC could be of help and would like more information or please contact the group via email.

If, having read the information provided, you would like to refer to the Trafford Spring TC please complete and submit an application using the referral form.

Completed Referral Information Forms can scanned and emailed to Trafford Spring TC email box:  or, alternatively, completed forms can be sent to Trafford Spring DTC, c/o CMHT Admin Assistant, Crossgate House, Cross Street, Sale, Manchester M33 7FT.

Section 3 of the referral form will be read and discussed by the whole group. This is in line with DTC principles, as all decisions are made by the whole group (not solely by staff). Your consent for this is required and this will be asked for when completing the referral form.

As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust