Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The secret clinical psychologist's diary: 'We review some horrific life histories' @guardian

The secret clinical psychologist's diary: 'We review some horrific life histories': The Guardian, 26 January 2016:



"Tuesday

I return to work after a two-week break to find more than 200 emails in my inbox, some relevant to my work and some fired off by managers doing their job but not really engaging with the realities of clinical work. Do I need to read the chief executive’s blog about their weekend? 

I learn that my mandatory training for community life support is out of date and I need to update it. The list of mandatory training sessions I must attend each year gets longer while my hours remain the same and the pressures on time increase. Travel and time logistics, along with actually seeing patients, mean that I can’t do this training until late March.

Wednesday  

First up is a home visit to see a young woman whose family have wrapped her in love and cotton wool to the extent that she has limited social skills. She’s at risk of sexual exploitation because she doesn’t know how to appropriately make friends. She is 22 years old. Recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) suggest her family are offered a structured therapeutic intervention to help them communicate better.

Her mother is unable to contain her anger at me at this point because she thinks her parenting is being criticised and she has no faith that mental health services can help. Realistically, it could be a full three years’ worth of our service before she can allow her daughter some of the freedoms she needs in order to survive. 

We spend about 20 minutes talking about why it is important that her daughter gets to choose what she wants for breakfast, rather than her parents choosing for her. I remind her that her daughter is an adult. This will be an uphill battle for me and her mental health nurse. We leave the house hoping that we have engaged them enough for them to let us in next time. ..."

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