"Windsor & Maidenhead Community Mental Health Team - psychotherapist assessment"

About: Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I was referred by my (excellent) GP, to this CMHT in March 2011 for an assessment. My experience of the assessment - conducted by a 'psychoanalytical psychotherapist' - was utterly traumatic and appalling, and continues to disturb me psychologically today. I felt that the therapist used sinister techniques throughout (so you lied, so you put on an act, . . and continued to use these techniques through the three assessment sessions, despite having herself diagnosed this as being unsettling for me). They showed no sensitivity whatsoever to the fact that I was feeling suicidal - when I revealed some of my plans she replied "well of course you'd want to make sure they were fail safe if you were intent on [committing suicide]. I felt that they were cavalier beyond words, and placed me under severe psychological duress to comply to thier narratives of my life, rather than my own.

They categorically refused to give me the CMHT 24-hr Crisis Number, despite having had to admit myself to a Suicide Respite Centre over the late April Bank Holiday weekend (I had to do this because I was not given the crisis number by the CMHT manager, despite having complained to the Local Authority (because calls from CMHT were not returned) that I was feeling suicidal. My complaint is currently being investigated by the Clinical Director, but I wish to bring it to the attention of this site, because I am concerned that different evidence now seems to be coming to light, after having made the complaint. I now have two very differently worded assessment reports, both bearing the same date - but one claiming to my GP I attended my last assessment session; the other with an added note, admitting that I did not. I request for an explanation for this. I specifically requested Art Therapy treatment, as I know that I do not respond well to one-to-one talking therapy of any kind (Art Therapy was also recommended as suitable for me in writing, by the Suicide Respite Centre), but have yet to be able to access this (we seem to keep going round in circles with referrals here).

My main point is that psychotherapists are 'self-regulated', and in my view operate by acquiring psychological power and control over their patients, and using sinister techniques to get them to comply to their narratives, with no care for the consequences, whereas art therapists are state-regulated healthcare professionals. I raised my concerns about this therapist directly after the first session but was placed under pressure to continue seeing them(they still seem to be under the highly deluded impression that I was 'upset' that they cancelled a session; I simply just never wanted to see them again and to be referred to someone more suitable) . Until my referral to the CMH, I felt I was receiving excellent care from my GP, but this has been a real wake-up call to the appalling treatment anyone with mental health problems may face from a CMHT. I cannot express in words how disgusted I am by the treatment received from this psychotherapist, and the psychological damage I feel it has caused me. I hope this forewarns patients who are referred to this CMHT what they may expect in an assessment, and to help them understand the sinister practices that in my experience were used by psychoanalytical psychotherapists and the CMHT.

I hope to receive some transparent answers and responsible treatment following my formal complaint, but must say, at this stage I have zero faith in this service and its complaints process. I would advise future users of this service to communicate everything in writing and to keep meticulous records of all communication. I also encourage anyone who feel they have been harmed by a psychotherapist to contact the Clinic for Boundary Studies and support their work to make psychotherapists state-regulated (this was due to happen under the old government regime, but not yet under the new coalition).

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