The Greater London Co-ordinating Committee website

The Greater London Co-ordinating Committee (GLCoord) consists of the three union branches of the Communications and Digital (C&D) Sector in Prospect which serve members in the Greater London area. We represent members working in companies who do not have recognition agreements with Prospect as well as members actively seeking work even if not currently employed.  You can join Prospect on line via thier website. If you wish to find out more you can contact any Branch Principal Officer via thier email address.

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This is a primary care mental health initiative launched a few years ago to provide first line support, via CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for those suffering a range of disorders around the depression, anxiety, panic and phobias spectrum.

 

Offered at two levels (dependent on the degree of illness of the client), Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists (CBPs) offer care normally based out of e.g. special centres, GP surgeries and employment centres (to work amidst the communities they serve).  CBPs offer higher intensity CBT therapy and can also offer secondary care for disorders as complex as Schizophrenia and Psychosis and some eating disorders – and may find in treating complex cases as primary carers that they may also have to handle levels of disorder normally addressed by secondary (i.e. hospital) services. Since the launch of IAPT some primary health care providers have contracted with  differing organisations to provide CBT therapies, and these may not be offered under the IAPT banner but are, for practical purposes, the same.

CBT therapies, particularly those offered under the primary care banner, are known to be effective (50-60% of service users feel that they get better) and are of comparatively short duration, 6 sessions or so for low level intensity clients and only up to 20 sessions for higher intensity. They do require commitment from clients (i.e. working away from the sessions on particular tasks). CBT therapists treating complex problems in the secondary (hospital) environment may take longer. Recent work in CBT and related therapy has also been very successful in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, even long-standing cases. CBT is a fully validated psychotherapy method, and measurement (i.e. of service users’ progress) forms an important part of the treatment cycle.

CBT is not effective with some people, but for those for whom it does work, it is considered more effective, in a shorter time, than either other talking therapies or the use of e.g. anti-depressant drugs.

CBT has some similarities to, and links with, Mindfulness (to massively over-simply, Mindfulness is non-religious meditation); many CBPs will also be Mindfulness trained.

Because CBT is a structured therapy, it is possible to follow the structures (i.e. through books) without expert help; however much of the expertise lies in proper diagnosis, which may be more difficult for the potential service user than subsequently following the method appropriate to the problem (i.e. panic attacks may themselves be triggered by specific phobias, which need addressing as a primary cause). Additionally, of course, the support of a therapist is generally, in itself, considered to be of therapeutic value – although this has not been fully validated in research.

IAPT was introduced by government specifically to allow people to stay in work, or to get them back to work, and IAPT groups often include people focused on work placement and other issues. It is thus viewed as potentially a self-financing element of NHS primary care, reducing social care and unemployment costs and increasing tax revenues.

IAPT (or similar) services are now widely available within the NHS (unlike high intensity secondary CBT care, which like all hospital/ secondary delivered psychotherapy services is in high demand and short supply) and can be accessed by GP or self referral. The IAPT service will often telephone triage clients to determine whether their primary care CBT can offer effective assistance.

Some non NHS suppliers also offer psychotherapy including CBT (often coupled with, or sold as ‘counselling’). The gold-standard for CBT delivery is accreditation with the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). If the private practitioner is not so accredited their skills (and training) in CBT may be questionable. CBT is a very structured system; badly delivered it will frequently not work, and may block the service user, by its failure, from being usefully applied later by a properly trained psychotherapist.

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