Stimulating article exploring the importance of social connection to our mental wellbeing. Whilst exploring the lonliness of lock down the author explores some of the limitations of zoom, emphasising the loss of touch, eye contact and sense of togetherness that we get from being in the same physical space as others.
I post this here because these considerations are vital in successful on line therapy, which needs to involve active exploration of these dynamics. Whilst I always prefer to share a physical space with a client, Online therapy is sometimes essential and for some it is preferable and it does not necessarily need to be second best.
One of the most difficult aspects of the Coronovirus crisis for me has been watching distressing news coverage of health professionals treating COVID-19 patients in the knowledge that many are working in overwhelming circumstances. It cannot be easy to lose a patient at any time but when a system becomes overwhelmed, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have to allocate scarce resources to prioritise one life over another, whilst also being fearful for your own life. It cannot be easy to be hailed as a hero when the reality may be a maelstrom of conflicting and confusing emotions may include feelings of distress, guilt, anger and shame arising from impossible moral decisions, institutional failures and inadequate support. I can imagine that many frontline staff will be experiencing post traumatic stress and appreciate this articles message that 'it is ok not to be ok'. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/25/psychologist-tells-frontline-nhs-staff-its-ok-not-to-be-ok
Psychotherapist Esther Perel skillfully explores the deeper undercurrents of feelings that many are dealing with in this pandemic, including uncertainty loss, grief and stress.
Richard Bentall's open letter to Stephen Fry is written in response to the recent BBC documentary 'In the Mind' and suggests that the program presents an imbalanced argument which explores biological causes of mental ill-health but neglects the social and relational factors, the life stories and difficult experiences that contribute to mental illness. You can read this interesting discussion here
LINKS TO PARTNERS AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS
Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership
The Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership is a Partnership of trained, experienced and registered psychotherapists who are committed to developing a clear profile for independent psychotherapy provision throughout Wales. It is also an independent Training Institute offering vocational qualifications in Integrative Psychotherapy, Gestalt Psychotherapy, Supervision to Advanced Diploma Level and Continuing Professional Development Events.
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a membership organisation, with over 75 training and listing organisations, and over 7,000 individual practitioners. UKCP holds the national register of psychotherapists, psychotherapists qualified to work with children and young people and psychotherapeutic counsellors, listing those practitioner members who meet exacting standards and training requirements.
The Natural Health Service
Swansea’s first integrated health clinic offers a range of holisitc therapies and takes pride in working closely with doctors and other health care professionals to make sure that you get the best of both worlds.
THe Samaritans provide 24 hour telephone line and welcome calls from anyone who needs to talk
Mind Cymru is Mind's force for change in Wales. Informed in everything they do by people with direct experience of emotional distress they campaign vigorously to create a society that promotes good mental health and that challenges mental health stigma. THe site includes a good rnage of information and advice.
Hafal is a Wales based charity for people with serious mental illness and their carers. Hafal is managed by the people they support: individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness. They provide their own unique Recovery Programme based on principles of self-management and empowerment, this programme offers clients a methodical way of achieving recovery by focusing on improving all areas of their life. Information and advice is also offered.
The Psychological Services Department, Swansea NHS Trust
A multi-disciplinary team offering a range of psychological therapies (mostly “talking” therapies) to suit the individual. Access is through a referral from a Primary Care Liaison Nurse who are based in GP practices or another Healthcare professional such as a Psychiatrist, Social Worker or OT. There is presently a waiting list for support. Some links to resources are available on this website.