I work as a psychological therapist since qualifying in 2009. I work in and around the area of Gloucestershire with adults, couples, children and young people.
Once qualified I went to work at the local charity TIC+ supporting children and young people aged 8-21 In Gloucestershire as a peripatetic counsellor. I now work supporting young people with online therapy with the charity for two evenings a week. Some of my work comes in from the local authority working with looked after young people.
My background has been working in mental health nursing and supporting individuals back into work and education. It was this work that took me into working as a therapist.
This work involved working with employers and job retention supporting individuals to manage their mental ill health in the workplace. Many barriers individuals face before they move on often require some kind of therapy intervention.
I have an office base locally and I also work in and around the county to suit the needs of the service and this appears to suit most people as it gives them a preference of where they would like to be seen. If working with employers, I can then offer appointments in the workplace, or my office base in Coleford. Appointments can be offered at various times and sessions usually last 50 mins to an hour.
I am an affiliated counsellor with and EAP ( Employment Assisted Provider) where I provided short term solution focussed therapy for those who are off work with psychological distress or in work struggling to manage their psychological wellbeing.
The Therapeutic Process
I offer prospective clients an initial assessment as this gives both the opportunity to meet up, discuss the presenting concerns, and gauge if we decide to work together. If I work with children and young people, this may be different, it will very much depend on the age and understanding of the therapy process. Assessment allows the decision if therapy is right for you once you have an understanding of the process expectations and what it entails.
If we decide to work together we will draw up a therapy contract or working agreement (adults, adolescents and young people only) where we agree to meet for a minimum of sessions before reassessing our working alliance. The assessment explores if you wish to continue working in therapy, if your goals have been achieved or new ones need tobe set. There is no obligation to attend all sessions you will be free to end therapy at any given time.
Sessions will usually last 50 minutes to an hour on a weekly basis. Children adolescents and young people may differ depending on their concentration span. The process of therapy can be short term solution focussed or longer term depending on the therapy aims and goals.
Working with Children, adolescents and young people When working with children and young people I am able to draw upon a range of creative interventions. It is not always easy for young people to verbally express themselves of what is distressing them so it often plays out in they way they behave. Often young people will be referred for therapy from a parent, teacher or health professional.
Children often struggle with feelings and emotions and will need help and support to understand themselves. Many things can cause this such as separation, family conflict, medical or environmental problems, or a history of abuse. Children can feel isolated, alone, sad bad or trapped which can lead to feeling misunderstood alone and confused.
Creative ways of working include, play therapy, sand tray work, drawing, role play, collage and construction along with painting, stories and books.
Experience and research has shown that therapeutic intervention has a positive effect to a persons life, their behaviour and achievements.
Working with Employers
Workplace counselling can offer a service that is both valued by employers and employees whilst at the same time help reduce sickness absence, improve staff retention and staff turnover whilst help to improve staff morale.
Supporting the psychological wellbeing of employees can potentially be viewed as part of the employers duty of care to promote a stress free environment. This in compliance with Government legislation.
Growing research in this area demonstrates the importance to mental health and wellbeing in relation to work performance and effectiveness. Many studies have shown where employers have offered counselling support to their employees it has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Employees can carry out their work duties whilst at the same time explore ways in which they can manage their personal and or work situation as often one will impact the other. Other benefits include reduced costs that are associated with illness and absenteeism, cost of sick pay will be reduced, cover and recruitment of staff will be minimal.
If employees are happier in the workplace then they will less likely to seek alternate employment opportunities.
Relationships in the workplace will improve, along with compliance with their duties, therefore change can be accepted more readily where employers will see an increase in work performance and decision making.