Ellie Kerry explains what a typical day is like for a psychological wellbeing practitioner at DHC Talking Therapies.
DHC Talking Therapies is a great service to work for, with a diverse, experienced and supportive team covering a range of specialisms – including Cognitive Behaviour Therapists (CBT), Long Term Conditions (LTC) CBT specialists, Counselling Psychologists, Counsellors and Wellbeing Practitioners.
Before deciding to train as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP), I was working in clinical research, which I didn’t feel gave me enough opportunity to make as much real difference to individual lives. I was interested in specialising because CBT is an evidenced based treatment and I wanted to know that the techniques I was using with clients were supported and shown to be effective.
On a typical day I have a number of telephone assessments and face-to-face treatments scheduled. Patients can be referred by their GP, or they can self-refer using the self-referral form on the Talking Therapies website, or by contacting us by telephone. Self-referral is where patients can contact us directly, without the need to make contact via their GP first. I assess all clients being referred to Talking Therapies but only treat those with mild to moderate common mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, panic and specific phobia. If necessary, I tell clients about other support services that would be better suited to them. I help with a range of guided self-help approaches, which are based on the principles of CBT. I deliver these in a one-to-one capacity either in person, or over the phone, depending on a client’s individual preference. I also lead a long-term conditions group, which involves four sessions of CBT to adults with common mental health conditions that have been impacted by having a long-term health condition, such as diabetes, respiratory conditions, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, or a heart condition.
Each week, I have one hour of case management supervision in which we discuss the cases I am managing and any concerns or queries about treatment pathways. I receive monthly line management supervision, group clinical skills supervision and peer supervision. The different methods of supervision enable me to develop both professionally and personally within the Talking Therapies service.
Client experience and how they feel about the care they receive is integral to how we shape and continue to improve our service. The most fulfilling aspect of being a PWP is seeing the positive changes in people who take on and learn the strategies you teach. I get a real sense of achievement when clients who are initially unsure about the guided self-help approach find it useful and sometimes a ‘life-changing’ experience.
I would like to continue my professional development by learning more about CBT with wider groups of people, to enable improved access to mental health treatment to groups that may be under-represented. I would also like to gain greater experience in research in the Talking Therapies setting.
If you feel you could benefit from Talking Therapies please contact us today.