Therapy group work pioneered at Smallbrook School by the Bryn Melyn Care Clinical Team has been showcased to healthcare professionals from all parts of Britain.
More than 50 psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, nursing staff and other mental health and care professionals from England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, attended a five-day Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Intensive Training seminar and workshop in Reading.
Clinical lead Lucy Wheen, Counselling Psychologists Lu Daynes and Ron Harper, and Forensic Psychologist Emma Williams, joined representatives of adult and adolescent care teams from the public and private sectors, including NHS CAMHS teams, low and medium-secure units, and specialist mental health units for personality disorders and eating disorders at the event, hosted by British Isles DBT Training last week (Jan 11 to 15).
Delegates heard presentations on pilot DBT programmes and case work conducted by the Bryn Melyn Care team, as well as DBT therapy programmes being offered to individuals and groups in other areas. The presentations were supported by practical role play demonstrations and poster displays generated by the teams to help inform clinical practice.
DBT is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy designed to help people change unhelpful behaviours such as self-harm, suicidal thinking and substance abuse. The Bryn Melyn Care DBT Skills Group, which is currently being run by Emma Williams and Assistant Psychologist Jade Hardy, teaches people to increase emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that cause negative reactions and developing better coping skills. This can be backed up by individual therapy sessions.
Future plans for the Bryn Melyn Care DBT initiative include increased marketing of the service to attract more suitable referrals, further training for care staff to enable them to support DBT work in the homes, and building a pool of expertise by setting up links with other local DBT services to share knowledge and resources.
Clinical lead Lucy Wheen said: “It was a pleasure to showcase to such a large audience the excellent work that we do here at Bryn Melyn Care. We had some really positive feedback on the service and a great deal of interest in the work we do. Many of the experienced professionals who attended the event commented on the range of complexities that we see and the hard work that goes into caring for our young people at all levels of the company. I would particularly like to thank all the Care Practitioners who supported their young people to attend DBT sessions. Thanks also goes to Michelle, Nadia and all the staff at Small Brook School for welcoming the clinicians into the school environment and supporting the young people to learn new skills in managing their emotions. Emma, Lu, Ron and Jade have put a great deal of work into the DBT service and I look forward to seeing this grow and develop”.