Here at 96 Harley Psychotherapy, we are proud to be supporting many different people from many different walks of life. We consider we are privileged to be allowed just a small glimpse into other people’s world and would like to share with you some of their comments on how they have individually benefited from specialist psychological care. Kay Lawrence tells of her personal experience working with these clients.
"Last Thursday’s pay packet was the best money I ever earned! It was clean and I made it from my own hard work," said the young man referring to his £6.40 an hour pay. He was comparing that sum with his previous earnings of some £1,000 a day as a drug dealer.
The young man was part of an employability scheme which helps people back into work, having served custodial sentences, or having been homeless, or both. He was one of many being offered a second chance in transforming his life. The scheme called itself an employability scheme but was it just a job he was being offered?
"I never thought anyone would help me after I lost my kids, my home, and my freedom," said a 30-something woman who found support after serving a prison sentence. The charity which helped her is committed to finding a way of decreasing reoffending rates by helping women find another way of living that allows them to leave the "revolving door syndrome".
"Seeing the sunlight through the cracks of a shipping container and being in the sunlight as a real person in my own right is something that I can never truly describe," was the reflection of one young woman in her 20s who had been trafficked into sex and domestic servitude. She is now being supported as she receives trauma counselling and learns to adjust to her new life, living safely in the UK.
“No-one else would have been willing to take me on, train me up, and never mention my offences ever again,” said the man in his early 50s who is now part of a charity working with people who have years of repeat offending behaviour, culminating in homelessness, mental health difficulties and addictions.
“I’m now training to become a coach to motivate kids, who are just like I used to be! It all makes sense now. If I can do anything to help those kids achieve their real potential, then my own wounds were worth it,” said the young ex-gang member who is now coaching young people who have been failed by the "system". He and the team are helping to heal their clients’ unresolved traumas and working with them for the common good.
The connection with the "end users`' of all these charities and the charities themselves have a goal in common: they long for transformation and a "better way".
If I can distill equality down to its most pure form, I would suggest the key is that we should all have access to the things that give us the qualities of living well. Fairness, opportunity and parity are the common ground, as is the practical need for food and shelter. However, our emotional and psychological needs also need to be looked after. Who are we without acceptance and respect? Who are we if we are not seen and heard, valued and appreciated?
There is so much good news that can be found in surveys revealing the outcomes of charity work and community projects. We know it may not work for everyone but, if one person in a generation changes the course of their life path, then that sets about a systemic change for their descendants too, as well as those around them. I find this prospect very exciting! Supply the right conditions, and people who wish to embrace a new way will put in the leg work and do so.
Through our clinically and therapeutically informed work with charities and community projects, 96 HS remains committed to being a part of this good news. Partnering with organisations, we support the lifecycle of change, restoration and transformation in whatever capacity we can provide.
I asked a question at the beginning of this piece: Is it just a job? From my point of view, it is so, so much more.
By Kay Lawrence
These are some of the amazing groups we have been involved with since 2010.
- Pret Foundation
- London City Mission
- Justice & Care
- Caring for Ex-Offenders
- Working Chance
- Women in Prison
- Prisoners’ Advisory Service
- Talitha Arts
- William Wilberforce Trust
- Holy Trinity Brompton
- St Anselm Community, Lambeth Palace
- Dulwich Picture Gallery