Have another story from someone who has experienced positive mental health care. This is from Jenna, showing the impact of the small gestures and a positive therapist-client relationship.
“I was extremely anxious about meeting my Psychologist for the first time. There’s always that fear of not being “believed” resulting in you not receiving the help you need. When I first met him he spent time telling me about himself, how long he had been a Psychologist which is actually longer than I’ve been alive and how he struggled when he first moved to the UK for his job because he knew nobody. This really put me at ease, knowing that the person who I was about to confide in had just confided in me. He also told me he’d prefer me to call him by his first name instead of Doctor as he wanted it to be a relaxed atmosphere.
I know it’s his job but I literally felt so safe in that room with him and that I could talk about anything without him passing judgement. Which is exactly what I did, he is the only mental health professional that knows every single issue I suffer with, well actually the only person. That is how at ease I felt. He spent the full sessions talking with me and sometimes went over the time limit so he didn’t stop me mid way through a conversation. He gave me some brilliant tips to improve my anxiety but also explained how he understood it wouldn’t be easy or a quick fix.
He once had to cancel an appointment due to having toothache and needing to see a dentist, he personally rang me himself instead of giving it to the receptionist who’s job it actually is. I liked that touch, it showed he genuinely cared. He even said if I really needed to see him that day he would still work with the toothache but obviously I didn’t expect him to do that. He liaised on my behalf with my Psychiatrist who I was having issues with and sent me follow up appointments regularly whilst I was waiting for Psychotherapy to ensure I was still seeing somebody and had a support network there.
He told me I could ring at any time to talk to him even if he wasn’t there he said he would ring back as soon as he got the message. Luckily I never needed to do that but having the option there to speak to the same person who had been dealing with me felt so much better than ringing a generic number and speaking with a professional I have never met. I looked forward to seeing my Psychologist and I am actually disheartened that he won’t be the one doing my Psychotherapy.”
By Jenna Von @jenvonabb
Jenna’s blog can be found at jennavon.com