Tag Archive: recovery

Understanding as a path to recovery

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By Nina Martynchyk

 

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.” -Rumi

When I entered hospital, I remember having a very strong sense of ‘does anyone get what I am going through?’ I was suffering with debilitating depression and a very severe eating disorder that had left me locked in my own darkness. After continuously feeling rejected by many people in my life, I felt extremely isolated and had an aching desire to feel supported and understood.

Luckily, I was cared for by many members of staff who would do their absolute best to make sure that I felt noticed, valued and most importantly, understood. They would frequently remind me that I could talk to them whenever I wanted, whilst making sure that I knew there wasn’t any pressure to do so if I didn’t feel up to it. The importance of working at the young person’s pace to ensure their feeling of safety and containment is stated on CAMHeleon. It states, ‘Through mindful and sensitive work, the team, always working at the young person’s pace, forms a relationship with them where the young person can begin to explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and gradually work through their difficulties.’ I am deeply appreciative of the fact that the staff didn’t force me to open up when I didn’t want to, consequently meaning that I didn’t end up feeling more overwhelmed than I was already feeling.

Due to the fact that I often didn’t feel like talking about what was going on for me when I felt down, the staff would think of various different ways to try and make me feel better. One of the ways that they would try to do this was by taking me to cafés, the park and the cinema and I remember finding these excursions to be enormously beneficial to my mood. Not only would they distract me from my problems but they would also instil a sense of normality in me that was greatly missing from my life. As stated by CAMHeleon, ‘caring’s also about remembering how it feels to be a child and putting yourself in your kid’s shoes. It means lightening up, being playful, and having a laugh.’ Doing fun activities with the staff also gave me the opportunity to strengthen my therapeutic bond with them, consequently meaning that I found it easier to open up to them when I needed their support.

When I did talk to the staff about what was on my mind, the conversations that I found to be the most helpful were the ones which felt like they were between two humans, instead of between a member of staff and a ‘broken’ patient who needed to be fixed. They would remind me that they didn’t see me as simply somebody with a set of diagnoses, but someone with a past, future and a life outside of the hospital walls. We would spend time talking about my friends, my hobbies and my favourite TV shows in addition to more serious topics of conversation such as my mood. I also really liked it when they wouldn’t assume that they knew best and would allow me to guide the conversation. We would have a two-way discussion where we would both share and explore our ideas about why I was feeling the way I was and potential ways to help me to progress in my recovery.

The members of staff who looked after me went above and beyond to help me even though they were extremely busy and had other patients to look after. Despite having their own hardships, they would come into work and selflessly put my needs and the needs of the other patients before theirs on a daily basis. They were a beacon of light in the darkness that I was engulfed in, and for that, I will always be deeply thankful. You guys are absolute heroes.

THANK YOU!!!

 

Have a look at the Understanding theme for more inspiration

 

 

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Animal-assisted Therapy

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Animals are an important part of many people’s lives — their mere presence can contribute to human’s happiness, making their life more meaningful. However, animals may do more than just provide companionship.

New research suggests they can improve emotional, social and cognitive functioning in adolescents with severe mental disorders. The study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, examined the effects of animal-assisted therapy, which is an intervention involving guided interaction between a patient and a trained animal. The purpose of this intervention is to aid a patient’s recovery process.

“The young patients who feel fragile, needy and dependent on others in the hospital context, can experience themselves as caretakers of someone else in the [animal-assisted therapy] environment,” researchers said, according to The Pacific Standard. “This experience can improve their sense of self-agency and self-cure, and these positive effects are not only limited to the human-animal bond, but can be extended to the patient’s global functioning and to the entire process of care.”

Source: medicaldaily.com – Read more here

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We use numerous recovery tools, such as the Support and Recovery Plan and Wellness Recovery Action Plan. These enable the young person to think about and list their existing resources and to create their own tailored action (care) plan for their recovery. We work to help them further develop and reinforce their resources and help them to move on from their crisis.

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The Department for Education (DFE) recognises the importance of providing education for YP receiving inpatient treatment in psychiatric settings and suggests that without ‘effective education their prognosis for a full recovery may be diminished’ (DFE, 1994a, p. 18).

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Everyone has a life story. We look at how each YP’s can be used to inspire others to aid their own recovery and continue to move forwards.

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A lot of the young people struggle with relationships. The cognitive behavioural-based social skills group is a really significant part of their treatment and recovery. It’s based on a positive approach, and the emphasis is on their strengths. Themes include bullying, anger, friendships and isolation.

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I think it’s important to make clear that recovery can and does occur without professional involvement. It’s about them not us. We can walk with them, but ultimately it’s their own journey.

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CAMHSweb

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The Very Cool CAMHSweb

This online platform includes a number of tools to help young people and their therapist explore their strengths, feelings and relationships, and work on personal goals.

Dr Jessica Austin, Lead Clinical Psychologist with the West Norfolk Family and Young Person’s Service, said: “This exciting project will make a huge difference to the recovery of many young people across West Norfolk, and we are delighted to be taking part in the pilot.

“CAMHSweb is a fantastic tool which helps young people feel more in control of their mental health care.

“It gives them the chance to personalise their treatment and express their thoughts in a variety of different ways. For example, they can doodle their goals and create avatars of the people in their lives, then, using one of the tools they can place them on a target showing how close and how supportive they are to the individual’s recovery.

“It is a very graphical and creative way of helping young people.”

More here

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My Shared Pathway – My Relationships Workbook

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My Shared Pathway – My Relationships Workbook

mysharedThe following extracts are from the ‘My Relationships’ workbook produced by My Shared Pathway:

“The relationships we have with other people are very important to our well-being and our recovery from mental health difficulties. We have relationships with many different people in many different areas of our life. We have relationships with our family, our friends, our neighbours, people who help support and care for us, all the professional people we come into contact with and, while in hospital, the other people we live with on the ward. We will probably have relationships with some professionals we might not have had relationships with befor

“All of our relationships have an effect on our lives, on how we feel and on how we behave. Those around us can have a very strong influence on us and our recovery from mental health difficulties. We will need to build relationships with people who understand where we’re coming from, how we are now and how we want to change. There may already be people in our lives that support us and we will need to make sure we maintain these. There may also be relationships that have a negative effect on us, and we may require help deciding what to do about these”

“In this part of My Shared Pathway, we’ll look at all your relationships, the ways you relate to other people and how to make sure your relationships are helpful to you in your recovery from mental health difficulties. We will look at how healthy, positive relationships can help reduce your harmful risks, while supporting you to take positive risks to live the lifestyle you want to lead.”

Click here to download the booklet in pdf format. Also, be sure to check out the Unique Recovery Journeys theme page of CAMHeleon. 

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Shift the young person’s way of seeing things

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“Over time staff can begin to look for ways to shift the young person’s way of seeing things but to begin with it is best to follow their lead.”

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