the free psychotherapy network

free psychotherapy for people on low incomes and benefits

Alison Dale

 

I have always worked in the public sector. Before I trained and qualified as psychodynamic psychotherapist in 2015, I was (for 25years) working for the Probation Service in inner London. Here, I frequently met with those in crisis, living “on the edge” and struggling with psychological and social breakdown. I have a good deal of experience in helping individuals with emotional and psychological problems

My values and philosophy support the view that we can and should live in a free, equal and just society. I am getting increasingly more fearful that instead of working towards achieving this vision in the UK, we are retreating from this. Divisions in society would appear to be getting more pronounced. We seem to be losing the ability to live alongside and tolerate, if not, celebrate our differences and more unable or unwilling to support those who are struggling with their lives be it through eg disability, mental health, unemployment or precarious work. Despite the fact we are all generally better off, there are higher rates of mental ill health, depression, anxiety and suicide (particularly amongst young people) than ever

There is a problem with mental health provision offered by the state. There is not enough of it. The recent hard times of “austerity” have meant that, in my opinion, our state social and welfare provision, and in particular our mental health provision, has been reduced. Many are left without any support as they cannot afford to go private and there is very limited mental provision offered by the NHS or GPs. I am aware there are a lot of people for whom the commercial rate for therapy sessions today would be beyond their pocket. Mental health provision should not just be available to those who can afford it. From my experiences in the NHS, I know that there are long and permanent waiting lists for those seeking one to one long term therapy

I am lucky enough in my life to have led a fairly privileged existence. I was supported in my education which then allowed me to go on and train for a professional career where I earned good money for many years before I took early retirement. Not everyone had the same chances as I did. Offering some free and low cost therapy to those who are in need is a way that I can give something back

I do earn money now through my private practice working as therapist and still need to earn to make a living myself. However I have the space and the resources to offer some low cost and some free long term psychodynamic psychotherapy for those in financial hardship/need

In addition to my private therapy practice I also work as an honorary (ie I do not get paid) psychotherapist at:

  • SWLondon and St George`s Mental Health Trust

Whilst I offer psychotherapy to others, like many who choose to become therapists, I have had long term intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy myself. I know how challenging therapy can be at times, but also how therapy can open up new possibilities

I am especially interested in the impact of boarding school on individuals having been to boarding school myself. I have an indepth understanding of addictions, in particular alcohol and drug use, and eating disorders, especially anorexia

My website is at

https://alisondalepsychotherapy.co.uk

January 2018