The Annual Report Re the Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy

The Annual Report Re the Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy

The Annual Report re the Dorchester trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy

June 2012

This has been a steady year for the Trust with no major changes in the key personnel that run the Trust. We are lucky to have a talented and committed group of Trustees, an experienced management group and regular and consistent hard work from our Development and Administrative Manager, Davina Taylor.

We have renamed our volunteer practitioners “Trust Practitioners” which I believe is a title more fitting to the work undertaken by them. A number of these have finished their time with us namely Paul Swatridge, Sandra Dorey, Vanessa Harvey and Niki Thornton. We are very grateful for their contribution and the clients also have expressed their gratitude on the feedback forms. For example, “ V immediately put me at ease, made me feel ‘safe’ and impressed me with her professionalism by knowing my case history.”

“Given the randomness of my physical condition, I was very appreciative of the flexibility of the service …… right from the start I felt a bond of trust, a genuine concern for my well-being and a gentle encouragement to face my issues…”

Sometimes our practitioners have had to witness a painstakingly slow process which is the nature of working with mental health issues such as long standing depression and anxiety. Recent disclosures by two members of parliament have highlighted how suffering from a mental health problem in this way can be a daily struggle.

PUBLISHED: 21:46, 14 June 2012 | UPDATED: 00:59, 15 June 2012. The Mail online.

Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham nearly broke down in tears when he addressed the House of Commons about mental illness, admitting that he had himself suffered from deep depression

A series of MPs have lifted the lid on how they have suffered from debilitating mental illnesses.

They spoke out about their experiences of conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-natal depression. Labour MP Kevan Jones – who appeared close to tears in a Commons speech during which he revealed he suffered from deep depression – argued that mental illness should not be seen as a weakness in politics.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, a Tory MP and former GP, said she had felt suicidal after the birth of her child.

And Tory backbencher Charles Walker revealed he had had OCD for the last 31 years, requiring him to do everything four times.

Mr Walker said his OCD condition meant he had to do everything in sets of four, whether it be turning off light switches or washing his hands. The illness had taken him to some ‘quite dark places’, he said.

‘Woe betide me if I switch off a light five times – then I must do it another three times,’ he said. ‘Counting becomes very, very important.

Dr Wollaston described the suicidal feelings she had while suffering from ‘severe’ post-natal depression ‘at the happiest time of my life’.

She revealed she suffered panic attacks on the Tube as she commuted to work after having a baby.

Over the last year, 35 people have been offered assessment interviews. Four did not attend. This non-attendance is an unusual event these days and we will need to re-emphasise at the points of referral and invitation how much time and money this costs the Trust. Out of the 31 assessed, 19 were offered a low cost place and 8 were referred directly to a more senior Trust Practitioner who would see them on a reduced fee paid directly to them. It has been noticeable during this period that the severity of the problems that people present with has needed our more experienced practitioners.

Out of the 19 taken on low cost, 2 people chose to return to a former counsellor. 2 were referred back to the NHS, 1 person was referred to DAA, our sister charity which specialises in working with people who have been abused and another person was referred back to their GP after we had offered a variety of slots with 2 different practitioners. Currently 23 people are being seen each week and 6 are awaiting allocation or assessment.

We had hoped to set up two satellite centres one in Weymouth and one in Sturminster Newton as petrol has become so expensive and public transport to Dorchester is limited particularly from Sturminster Newton. We have not been able to find cheap enough premises in Weymouth and have only been able to see a couple people at Sturminster Newton Health Centre. This is a pity particularly as there is a mistaken view that Dorset is full of wealthy people and these two areas in particular contain pockets of poverty.

We have one major problem that most other charities are suffering from in the present economic client, the people we are helping have less money and the charitable funders that we have applied to have less funds. Our reserve funds are greatly depleted. We have needed to take the initiative and to try and raise further funds ourselves in addition to the clients’ contributions and some loyal supporters who continue to give us small grants. We had a raffle at Christmas and one of our practitioners, Janet Hanley, and her friend did a sponsored walk up Snowdon whilst another practitioner, Jane Vaughan-Macklin, donated the proceeds from her craft stall. We are just launching a Grand Draw which is due to be drawn on 1st October 2012. From this we need to raise £4,000.

Finally we are looking forward to our annual training event which this year is to be led by our Trustee, Janet Lake, on shame. Shame is a very important factor in our work as numerous experiences, feelings or actions can induce the painful feeling of shame and make people want to hide information and not open up to their therapists. This training event also gives us the opportunity to thank all the practitioners and for each mentor group to meet eachother.

Mary Lister Clinical Director June 29th 2012