At Nuffield Health, we have recently developed and launched our Emotional Wellbeing services. Our range of evidence-based therapies can help people manage their emotional health in a variety of settings; online, face to face and even via video appointments.
We already have a network of nationwide Cognitive Behavioural Therapists that drive this service, but we have now also developed a new role as a Nuffield Emotional Wellbeing Therapist.
Lisa Gunn gives us some great insight into this new role with us, telling us about her journey, qualifications and what a day in the life of a Nuffield Emotional Wellbeing Therapist looks like.
‘I have worked at Nuffield Health for over a year now but have worked specifically in the field of Mental Health for 17 years. My career commenced as a Forensic Psychologist in Her Majesty’s Prison Service where I delivered CBT based interventions to address offending behaviour. I then moved into the field of addiction and began a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy and worked as a Gestalt Psychotherapist for 6 years. After a short period of managing a Guns and Gangs unit I moved into the field of Mental Health with CBT Services. My role at CBT Services was assessing patient readiness to return to work following a Mental Health problem and assisting their return to work or helping them stay well in work. Nuffield acquired CBT Services in October 2016 and I began working as a Nuffield Emotional Wellbeing Therapist for the Emotional Wellbeing team.
My experience so far of being a NEWT has been such an exciting journey! We are constantly evolving the service and getting involved in various projects and ideas to best support our members in Nuffield and our customers. The key role of a NEWT is to support individuals to understand their difficulties and to develop the skills and resources to manage or overcome them. A NEWT predominantly focuses on supporting individuals with mild to moderate emotional difficulties with interventions and support that are less intensive than psychological interventions for more severe conditions.
My role involves working collaboratively with patients to help them to assess their problem and how it affects their daily life. This can be via the telephone or in clinics, face to face. The low intensity interventions provide information to help the person make sense of their problem, introduce them to self-help activities, teach them tools and techniques to help them to improve their sense of wellbeing and reduce the chance of any problems in the future.
All NEWTs need to attend a specific University training course which is accredited by the British Psychological Society to ensure it meets strict criteria in terms of the knowledge and skills required to treat common mental health conditions. I am currently attending one day a week at Birmingham University to ensure all the training requirements are met.
A typical day in my role would involve triaging patients. This means that a patient has been referred to us with a mental health issue and requires a telephone assessment to determine the best course of treatment for their problem. This would include taking the patient through a series of psychometric questionnaires and exploratory conversation to build an accurate picture of their situation. Once the patient has been assessed they are referred to either face to face treatment if their symptoms are moderate to severe or they can be given a course of Guided Online Therapy if their symptoms are mild to moderate. Guided Online Therapy is a self-help computerised CBT intervention with telephonic therapeutic support.
Supporting Guided online Therapy is another aspect of my role. I am allocated patients that are working through CBT online and each week I call them and assist them with their treatment. I am able to see the CBT tools they are using and what their weekly scores say about their progress. Patients using the Guided Online Therapy can be stepped up to face to face therapy if they need to.
Another part of my role is to support the Mental Health First Aid Champion initiative as part of Nuffield Health’s employee wellbeing strategy. I have been involved in training up Nuffield Health employees from various regions to become Mental Health Champions to ensure that our colleagues have a stronger voice and the ability to talk about mental health more openly and reduce the stigma.’