This week is World Suicide Prevention week.
In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th September, I felt it was important to break my silence and become more active on my website and Social Media. The World Health Organisation state that ‘Every 45 seconds someone takes their life; an estimated 703,000 people a year around the world. For each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected, resulting in 108 million people, annually, who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviours. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt, and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.’
Reaching out and asking if someone is feeling suicidal is so important in giving them the support they need. As the Samaritans recommend, ‘asking someone if they’re suicidal won’t make things worse. Evidence shows it could protect them.’
This year’s theme is ‘creating hope through action’; encouraging and empowering people to take action to help create a world where fewer people die by suicide. If you feel this way or know someone else that does, please do not hesitate to get help, either via local Crisis teams or through private practice Psychotherapists (like myself). https://suicidepreventionwestyorkshire.co.uk/
Waiting times for ASC and ADHD diagnosis
I work with many clients whom suspect they might have a neurodiversity (usually Autism or ADHD) and want some support whilst they wait for assessment, which on the NHS can be a number of years! Since COVID this has become a much worse situation and prior to the Lockdowns, the waiting lists were extremely long. It would appear inevitable that this would create more issues with waiting times. However, I have learned this does appear to depend on the area you live in, a postcode lottery dependent on the CCG you are under, and I understand London’s wait list is not quite so long. Due to my Zoom sessions, I work with clients all over the UK, and it is fascinating to hear how different clients experiences can be, with all kinds of services.
I am not able to give a diagnosis as a psychotherapist, however I am able to screen clients and give clients an indication of whether a diagnosis is likely to be confirmed in an assessment. The wait times have now become so long, that many of my clients pay to go privately, so they can get the support they need in education or the reasonable adjustments necessary in the work place. Although during that long wait it is often helpful to have therapy and coaching to support clients in the traits that might cause them difficulties and also to see the positives of being neurodiverse, of which there are lots!
My work can be seen as a cross-over between psychotherapy (working with mental health issues), psycho-education (teaching clients about mental health conditions and their neurodiversity) and also coaching (teaching techniques and methods that might be helpful in terms of executive function or social interaction).
If you are interested in finding out more, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Current times are very stressful!
I know some of my clients have reduced sessions now due to the rise in the cost of living, however many are keeping the sessions and/or finding ways to pay for them. It is an extremely difficult time for everyone, however at least by using Zoom sessions or phone calls this reduces travel time and extra fuel costs. I know some clients do ask if I will move back to face to face sessions, however this is not something I am considering doing. Online therapy is very convenient for lots of my clients, particularly those that travel for work, go on holiday but still wish to have a session, have time constraints with other activities or live a long way from me.
Zoom isn’t for everyone, and I do understand that. If face to face is something you need, then finding the right fit for you in terms of a psychotherapist is important. I do have some Autistic clients that find the camera difficult to deal with in the beginning. Autistic people can find social interaction extremely stressful, so why add to this! Usually over time, many clients begin to feel more comfortable and will have the camera on. As a neurodiverse specialist psychotherapist, I understand the needs of my Autistic/ADHD clients, I work flexibly, so some clients work without the camera on and just talk. Some clients might find interaction too difficult in the beginning, so I will talk to the parents to help alleviate their anxiety and help give tips. The important point is as a neurodiverse psychotherapist, it is necessary to be flexible and to work with the needs of the clients and that is what is at the forefront of all my sessions.
As a post graduate trained supervisor and private practice psychotherapist, I have lots of experience that would be helpful to newly qualified or long term psychotherapists looking for a supervisor with specialism in neurodiversity. I know when I was looking for a supervisor it took me some time to find a supervisor that had the experience I required, and it was great to find my supervisor who has a wealth of knowledge in neurodiversity. If you are a psychotherapist, please do contact me to find out more.
As a client, you can be safe in the knowledge that the professional guidelines set by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists are adhered to. The unqualified and untrained are putting an awful lot of people at risk on various social media sites. All psychotherapists should have monthly supervision, and group supervision is something I choose to do as a supplement to my training/reading. I find this helps me as a professional to keep my skills up to date and current. My group supervision is with other neurodiverse specialist psychotherapists. This networking and knowledge sharing is invaluable to my practice and the benefit of my clients.
To see my therapist posting on the BACP click the attached link: https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists?UserLocation=53.8814211%2C-1.8793893&q=Seba+&LocationQuery=&Location=Microsoft.Spatial.GeographyPointImplementation&FoundLocation=&SortOrder=1&TherapistSortOrderSelectionMade=false&Distance=10
Training and Workshops
I have delivered a number of workshops over the year to schools and local charities such as Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource. These can be tailored to the needs of your audience. I have trained teachers on neuordiversity and given talks to parents on various topics that have been helpful to them. These workshops are invaluable to many because the opportunity to talk to others and share experiences is often very helpful in itself. Sharing top tips and asking questions that others may want the answers to also.
If you are a parent with a child that is diagnosed or not, you can become a member of AWARE, please contact them to find out more. I know clients I have signposted their way have found them a huge support! https://aware-uk.org/