My first job….
After graduating with a 2:1 in (BSc) Psychology, I began working for VP Forensic Nursing where I was working will a huge range of people with varying mental illnesses, from Depression, Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Anxiety and Autism mainly on Psychiatric wards within the NHS and private hospitals.
In my role as a Support Worker I really enjoyed working with the patients on a day-to-day basis, and quickly discovered that I was able to form excellent relationships with patients and was able to actively support them in participating and engaging in the treatment plans that were designed for the individual.
7 years in Prison….
After approx. 1 year into this post I was successful in getting the job as a psychological assistant at HMP Hull Prison. In this role I learned a vast array of skills that I possess today regarding Psychology and in particular the approach of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) when used in therapy.
My main duty on a daily basis was to participate in group work therapy with inmates, be it a one month or six month intensive programme. Both these programmes involved me going on extensive, highly assessed, training through the Prison Service before I could participate as a therapist on these programmes and it is where my knowledge of psychology and CBT initially began.
Only 18 months later, my hard work and dedication to my clients and the brilliant feedback I received from my supervision and peers resulted in me being promoted to a Psychologist specialising in forensic prisoner psychology at the well established and Europe’s leading therapy providing prisons, HMP Whatton. My time at HMP Whatton was not only liberating, challenging and a privilege, but they helped me to further enhance my psychological and therapeutic skills to an extremely high level.
Throughout my whole Prison Service career I have been supervised and monitored rigorously (400+ sessions), as each session that I delivered was video filmed and recorded. After each session, myself and my supervisor would go through sessions step-by-step and look at a range of factors that i did well but also that I could improve upon , some of which included, empathy, body language, level of understanding, relationship building skills and how I delivered a particular Cognitive Behavioural technique. This process of self-analysis and the feedback from my supervisor and sometimes peers was fantastic, and something I believe was a major contributing factor for me developing my excellent therapeutic and psychological skills that i use in my privately therapy today.
My achievements at HMP Whatton were to a very high standard, and some of which included, being able to complete a variety of static and dynamic risk assessments, delivering therapy treatments that involved one-to-one and group sessions, being able to flexible and adapt between structured and unstructured treatments, successfully passing my training on three other cognitively-based treatments, and being given the opportunity to formulate and complete parole reports (risk-assessments) for court for inmates who had completed therapy. This opportunity to develop on my undergraduate degree, undergoing intensive training and regular supervision from my supervisors is something that I feel has helped me to be able to relate to and understand people better, and which contributes highly to the success I have when working with Depression & Anxiety.
The wonderful NHS….
For the last 7 years, I have worked as a BABCP Accredited Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner working and delivering CBT based treatment therapy with a range of disorders and issues, most of which has centered around Depression and Anxiety. Usually the patients I worked with where directly referred from the patient’s GP, after which I would carry out the Assessment and then follow this up with 6-12 sessions of CBT based therapy, involving CBT group work, face-to-face CBT therapy, telephone CBT therapy, or Email CBT therapy.
I have worked with patients from various NHS trusts from around the UK, therefore, this has given me the opportunity to experience working with patients from various backgrounds, cultures, geographical location, age and gender. I have extensive experience in working with patients experiencing issues in relation to Low Mood/Depression, Panic Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Health Anxiety, Bi-Polar, and Low Self Esteem. My success rate within my time spent working within the NHS service was 92% treatment success rate when working with Depression & Anxiety (stats from my time working in the NHS, with over 100 patients who presented with mild/moderate Depression & Anxiety, and whom completed the full course of CBT therapy).
Great working with you Rashad. I never thought i'd ever get over these panic attacks, but since the therapy treatment i feel great. I no longer avoid situations and have got my life back! Cheers.Paul Wilson
My advice would be simple, just do the therapy and don't wait as you problem is not just going to go away. I waited 3 years to access support, but wish I had don't it earlier. My husband is really happy he has the old me back. xJulie Stagg