One of the many benefits for our members is access to therapy support from our wide team of volunteer therapists across the UK. Anxiety UK currently has almost 130 therapists working with the charity and around another 30 in the process of applying to join the growing numbers willing to work with us. All of the therapists are operating in their own private practices but work with Anxiety UK for a range of reasons from broadening their own knowledge and experience of anxiety disorders, to wanting to make therapy more accessible and affordable for those who struggle to fund private treatment.
One of those who regularly takes referrals is Birmingham-based Vicki Jones who has been talking to Anxious Times about her role.Vicki is qualified to provide support for a range of anxiety conditions and delivers both CBT therapy and Counselling. Vicki also provides support via phone or web cam for those members who require it. She has supported more than 200 members with their anxiety conditions and has been an approved Anxiety UK therapist for over 3 years now.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Anxiety UK and particularly like the fact that their therapy referral scheme gives access to a wide range of people form varied backgrounds who may not otherwise be able to access support so easily,” explained Vicki. “Anxiety really can interfere with many people being able to work which makes it even more difficult for them to access therapy if they are unable to work, it really can be a vicious circle for them.”
Vicki can draw upon a wealth of experience and training to tailor therapy support for each individual client. “Dealing with a range of anxiety disorders means you need to be very flexible in your approach,” says Vicki. “I like to develop a very personal and individual approach tailored to each client. Everyone is an individual and it’s important to have a variety of tools you can offer people that suit them. I will discuss the type of support that’s available with them and so we can develop a joint intervention to support them that suits their needs. Often clients will prefer to be seen face-to-face as they feel it will be more beneficial and it is good and we can achieve brilliant results. But more and more often these days clients are happy to access telephone therapy. When fully engaged telephone support is more intensive, there are no distractions on the phone and the whole focus is on that person and their needs. It provides a safer psychological environment to explore their inner thoughts and feelings where they are less exposed, more private and can be just as productive as face-to-face. I really enjoy working with clients with anxiety conditions, it is very rewarding and satisfying especially when you hear a client providing feedback about their what they have been able to achieve with my help. To have someone come back to me and let me know they’ve overcome their panic attacks and were able to attend a job interview successfully or were able to over come their social anxiety worries and attend a special function or event that was important to them is really heart-warming. It’s amazing to see how the coping strategies we have worked on are having such a positive impact for them. You can help so many people working with a voluntary sector organisation like Anxiety UK and help them to realise they are not alone in what they are experiencing. So many clients say how reassuring it is knowing others are going through the same thing as they are, they often feel isolated due to the stigma attached to mental well being, it helps them knowing it can be quite common and that they can support one another by being members of Anxiety UK.”