Our approach to counselling is person-centred, recognising that clients have widely varying needs and often present at times of crisis or instability in their lives. We aim to be sensitive to their needs and recognise there’s no a one-size-fits all solution. We work around our clients and don’t restrict the number of sessions they can access or penalise them if they don’t attend every session. We understand the challenges they face and try to be as flexible as possible to their needs and situation at any given time.
Our approach also recognises the role that relationships play in a client’s mental health, particularly within the family. We don’t work on the basis that there’s something ‘wrong’ with the client, but rather that there’s something ‘wrong’ in their environment, both historical and present day.
When helping a client with present day challenges, we’re prepared to work on the relationships around them and this can lead us to work with more than one family member.
With child referrals, we sometimes work with the parent(s) as well as the child. And if we’re working with struggling parents, we might also seek to work with the child(ren). We’re able to make these decisions quickly, without referral to a different service and this gives us flexibility. We tailor our service to the needs of each individual client and their family and work in a way that helps them achieve healing rather than just short-term symptom reduction.
Our counselling seeks to work through the childhood traumas that are invariably the underlying cause of a client’s mental health problems. We also recognise that at times of stress and chaos, our clients are generally looking for help with the present day. Therefore, we sometimes work more in the present and help them find some inner resources to get through this. They may then move on to something deeper once they feel stronger and more able to process such traumas.
Despite the challenges clients living in deprived areas face, we’ve found our local, flexible and person-centred approach results in relatively high engagement rates. We assess that a client’s engaged when they attend 3 or more sessions and our current level of engagement is 74% with the attendance rate of those who do engage being 86%.
In addition to being a person-centred service, most of our adult counsellors draw to some extent on the Person Centre Approach, usually integrated with other approaches. We don’t make extensive use of approaches of symptom-focused approaches such as CBT, and only employ counsellors who are able to offer deeper psychological healing.
Platform for Life’s addressing mental health problems that persist in deprived communities in a way that’s innovative, distinctive and effective. It’s an exciting and supported environment for counsellors and play therapists.
If you’re interested in joining us, please email us on [email protected] or call us on 07552 219806 for a chat.