Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is an innovative treatment that uses pulsing magnetic fields to activate or suppress the brain centres associated with a number of medical and psychiatric disorders. rTMS treats brain circuits involved in your condition, usually alongside medication.

About the service

The treatment is given for people who suffer from severe depression, which has not responded to anti-depressants or psychological therapy. Depression can last from weeks to years and can reoccur.

Treatment with rTMS usually involves daily sessions, these can be up to 30 minutes, 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks, after which time we would hope that your symptoms will have improved. You are unable to receive rTMS treatment if you have any type of non-removable metal in your head (with the exception of braces or dental fillings), therefore people who have any of the following should not receive rTMS.

  • Aneurysm clips or coils
  • Stents in the neck or brain
  • Deep brain stimulators
  • Electrodes to monitor brain activity
  • Metallic implants in your ears and eyes
  • Shrapnel or bullet fragments in or near the head
  • Facial tattoos with metallic or magnetic-sensitive ink
  • Other metal devices or objects implanted in or near the head.

Accessing the service

Your consultant psychiatrist will refer you to the Neuromodulation Centre. Appointments will be sent out via the rTMS team on receipt of a referral. Treatment is Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).


You will have a phone call from the rTMS clinic after three weeks and you will continue to see your community mental health team as arranged with them.

How to find us

Antelope House, Brinton’s Terrace, Southampton, SO14 OYG 

Contact information

023 8083 5550

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