The therapist's personal safety and care in the workplace
23/09/2009
Sally Despenser
3 hours
7 sections

The module is relevant to all stages of a counselling/psychotherapy career, and is aimed at

  • counsellors/psychotherapists
  • supervisors
  • trainers
  • course providers
  • placement officers
  • managers and employers in the statutory and voluntary sectors, health and other settings
  • those in private practice
  • those seeking online CPD validation.

It should be noted that sections 4,5 & 6 draw upon psychodynamic theory but that the personal experiences represent a diverse range of modalities.

The module focuses on the safety of the therapist (both physical and psychological), in a variety of settings.  You will consider a range of risk factors and how to assess them, and then reflect upon why individuals and organisations apparently continue to deny risk.  The therapist's options when deciding not to work with a client will also be considered, together with some possible consequences. Finally, bearing in mind the emotional toll of working as a therapist, the module ends with some tips for self care.

Comments:

"Great course" -

"This module gave me the opportunity to look at and review my own safety in the workplace." -

"Excellent thought provoking and has reminded me how important my safety and well-being is." -

"This has been an excellent and thought provoking course. Well worth doing before going into private practice " -

"I found this course very useful - some of the areas of safety had came up for me previously whereas others hadnt and some I had not expected. I spent quite a few hours completing this course, longer than I had initially anticpated although glad I did it. Has certainly provoded me with food for thought and also emphasises the huge importance of our own self care." -

"I found this to be a very useful course and very thoughtfully set out. I would recommend this course for all those in private practice and working in organisations. Students would also benefit greatly from the content. " -

"I am amazed at how when invited to see myself as important I have explored areas of private practise that I have previously shyed away from,It will never happen to me syndrome." -

"Enjoyed taking this course as I could spend as much time as I needed to complete it. It has helped me think about my whole safety aspect again within my setting and my client base. It has been easy to understand. There are dangers to be aware of and it has showed me that I may have to make organisations more aware that they need to be addressing this issue." - Pam Thomson

"I have found this course extremly useful and insightful around risk to the therapist as it is not always a welcome topic in meetings however working through this has re-awakened thoughts and concerns around meeting clients with no prior contact face to face (admin book in appointments for staff) so first therapist contact is when I arrive at the initial assessment appointments. This is an area I will be feeding back to colleagues and thinking about more. Thank you!" -

"Online CPD is a new experience... I found it thorough and thought provoking. I missed discussions that can arise during training but there were many opportunities for reflections and these prompted me to think more deeply about my personal situation and that has been very helpful. " - JB

"A very useful interesting informative and reflective course. It reminded me of how important my own safety is Marie Jones" - Marie Jones

"This course was excellent as it confirmed my strong thoughts on boundaries and setting and keeping to them, which has come about through various experiences over the years. It raises the responsibility of informing employers about these issues and making sure they understand and comprehend them. It is the duty of the counsellor to go to the employer and not expect the employer to have an automatic understanding of this specialised area." - Claire Kilburn-Young

"Excellent course. This really made me reflect on my own personal safety as a therapist and to understand that even experienced therapists need to refer some clients on." -

"A useful piece of learning that allowed me to consider my own working practice with regard to safety. Easy to flip back and to between sections to ponder on previous material with useful summary sections for own notes. Would recommend" - K Parkin

"This is the first CPD/online learning course I have done and I found it most useful and very thought provoking." -

"This is my first online CPR. I was very impressed by the quality and guidance as I made my way through the programme. It has raised awareness in terms of security." -

"This has been an excellent learning experience both the on line method - which suits me well ( at my pace). More so the content has given me a robust framework to base decisions around safety and risk. The personnel material - considering me as a therapist and why I may be acting in certain ways has also been invaluable. " - Alison Peters

"After 13+ years experience in various settings, I found this to be a very insightful and meaningful workshop on the subject of safety. I have a rule about never operating a private practice from home. " -

"This was a really thought provoking course. It reached deep into the subject." -

"A very useful and thought provoking module which has led to action in my workplace regardring consideration of risk and how to respond." - Jill Cavellec

"This course has helped to raise further awareness of my safety in private practice. When asked to think from an organisational perspective, I found it useful to think about me as a Counselling Centre Manager and what policies/procedures I might put in place to protect the Staff Counsellors ie. me. I will continue working on the area of safety by self-reflection and discussion with my supervisor." - Private Practice Counsellor and Supervisor.

"I thought this module was very thorough and I enjoyed the learning and depth. i think it helped me to consolidate my own thinking and knowledge and that gained through my experience over the last few years. Thank you." - Dawn Allison.

"Very helpful and thought provoking" -

"Excellent for reflective thinking on own practice." -

"I have found this online course very informative and it has given me many things to think about in terms of my private work and agency work. Its also helped me to reflect upon the referral process and how you might manage this in the most effective way. Its also been helpful to note down my own action plan with regards to safety and self care. " - Vicky

"It was good opportunity to reflect and re-consider on many important issues. The settings seem to be set to american spelling rather than English (highlighting recognise for example?) which is rather annoying." -

"Extremely helpful and informative course which I would recommend to others." -

"I have enjoyed this course for the content as it has enabled me to reflect upon my practice and the need to make my own personal safety a priority. I feel that being able to work through the course at my own pace has been helpful as I have been able to take time to reflect about the issues. " -

"Excellent module, I found it extremely helpful for my own private practice." - Madeleine Rollason

"This course really made me think about how safe I really feel within my private practice and if this is the setting I wish to be practising in. Vignette and examples really provoke feelings and offer challenge. Self care list was a lovely way to end the course and the actionplan will prove invaluable moving forwards. " -

"It was really useful to think in detail about issues of safety. the only thing that I found a little difficult was the psychodynamic framework for understanding and assessing, as some of these things simply have no place in my own approach. However it has been useful and interesting." -

"First time I have done any of the on-line CPD. I found it very imformative and made me think about the way I work within my agency. Also a good reminder not to get complacent!!" - Sue

"Everyone should do this course every three years or so. It highlights the difficult positons we can find ourselves in as counsellors. We must not isolate ourselves and feel that we can or must deal with everything ourselves. Use good colleague support and fight for better conditions for the hard work we do that can seem invisible to society." - Fiona

"This has been very thought provoking. I am fortunate in that my employer (Local Government) pays much attention to safety and risk issues and I have excellent supervision but it has also reminded me to check out some things, specifically at my venue. The course comes very much from a psychodynamic perspective, which is not my model of counselling. There were aspects of psychodynamic terminology that were not helpful to me. " -

"This module has allowed me to think about the different factors involved in taking on private clients. It has also made me more aware of potential risks in working in an office setting and thinking more about risk assessing not only the client but the setting. I am more aware of these things now and feel that ongoing learning and reading and experience as a counsellor will continue that journey for me." - Kathy Jaloussis

"I found this course very useful and thought provoking." -

"Excellent. thought-inducing course. Content well laid-out with useful vignettes to illustrate potential scenarios." -

"Excellent, very thought provoking, left me with a lot to think about as both a manager and as a practitioner." -

"This course was very useful. It made me really look at the hidden dangers that had not occurred to me previously when counselling. I was considering setting up my own practice , however I feel it would be probably safer to stay within an organisation for the time being. The course was informative but took longer than what I imagined it would." -

"Very good and thought provoking. I though more emphasis could of been put on the assessment as an initial meeting for the client and counsellor to see if it is appropriate to work together or if referral is more appropriate , I find that when clients realise this is an equal decision it offers more of an option for withdrawal by either party." -

"An enjoyable course which enabled room to reflect on areas of therapeutic work I have sometimes overlooked. It did take longer than the guide time, however as there is a save facility this meant that i could study in a flexible way." - R. Tinubu

"First time using cpd /online learning, I found the site easy to use and to navigate around." -

"I thoroughly enjoyed working through this course. I found it interesting and thought provoking. I also find the flexibility of internet learning hugely beneficial. One slight criticism is that it took me longer than the three hours specified." -

"Working through this course has been very helpful in reminding me of the inmportance of being aware of my vulnerability as a therapist in private practise. It has also given me a top up of recognising my responsibilty as a therapist is not only to my clients but to myself " -

"Very informative and thought-provoking. It was nice to focus on the safety of the therapist instead of the usual focus on client safety/risk management." - Lindsey Vernon

"Thank you. For me this confirms my thinking and has helped expand my mind as well. It also has made me mindful for future adventures" - Faye Olliffe

"Provided a really thought provoking opportunity to reassess my practice, especially as I am about to start seeing clients in private practice. Would reccomend to all counsellors / therapists irrespective of your experience." -

"Really enjoyed doing this module, alot to think about and very helpful in writing down my thoughts, feelings and reflections. I completed this course because it does affect my work as a counsellor and being safe is a top priority which should be taken very seriously by organisations, colleagues and supervisors. " - Kulwant Kaur

"very very useful. thank you" - Ana

"An excellent course. Would highly recommend it. And it does take about 3 hours whereas two of the previous ones I did took MUCH longer.. BACP please continue to provide more of these online courses." -

"A very helpful course; the first time I have used the on-line learning, and it will not be the last! I am in Private Practice and so now have an action plan for things I am going to do differently. It has increased my appreciation of the importance of noticing my own emotiional responses to a client, particularly during the first contact. It has also highlighted my own agendas!" - Claire

"It is a wonderful course. I feel it should be included in counselling courses." - Parvin Porhonar

"Great course on safety, beneficial" -

"Very thought provoking." - J Myring

"Helpful revision of self care and saftey, fully recommend this course." - Dee

"There is a lot of sound information in this course, concisely, clearly and thoughtfully presented. There is also a lot for the therapist to consider and reflect on in relation to themselves and their practice. Highly recommended for therapists at any stage in their career as it is valuable for initial learning and also for experienced therapists to review their practice." -

"This was a thought-provoking and interesting course. I will be more aware of the issues explored. " - Cheryl

"-This was a meaty-module & ook me far more than the 3 hrs stated!!! -I will be stating 6 hrs in my re-accreditation application!" - Robert A Slater.

"I found this course very useful, it reminded me to really consider my own safety when taking on new clients, especially in private practice. " -

"Really enjoyed this and has made me think about potential risk to myself a lot more. Once again I want a certificate though :) (its the over achiever in me)" -

"I found this CPD to be very useful and felt it highlighted and explored important factors relating to our safety as counsellors. Thank you." -

"My first experience of online learning in this format. The course was easy to follow, informative and thought provoking. It was fun and a convenient way to learn." - James Carrie

"Every therapist, whether working privately or within an institutionalised organisation, should complete this. Excellent and thought provoking." -

"I found this course to be very useful as I have recently started in private practice and can feel isolating at times. It has made me reflect on possibilities of working with clients alone in my annex and the importance of gut instincts and possible safety precautions in the future" -

"Excellent course which highlighted points on safety within private practice which I had not thought about. As a result, I have now made changes within my working environment " -

"Very useful course, articulately thinking about organisational anxieties." - Anita Worcester

"Excellent course and opportunity for reflection" -

"Very helpful course and made me reflect upon aspects of my practice I never considered before, and consolidated the knowledge I already had." -

"I would highly recommend this module to everyone. It covers a very important topic which is not always part of training or adequately prioritised by organisations." -

"Very thought provoking, however some of the examples were not about qualified counsellors, and I am not a trainee. A few more examples relevant to experienced practitioners would be good. " -

"Great refresher to remind therapists the importance of their own safety as well as the client. " - Tegan

"This was an excellent course which made me reflect on my own practice." -

"I found this extremely helpful - in particular because I have gone from working with many colleagues into isolation working in private practice. I will continue to be vigilant and now feel better equipped and more self aware. I will ensure I take doubts to supervision." -

"I have really enjoyed working through this module and have found much of this helpful with my own working practice. Some of this i have already taken to supervision and shared with the other counsellors. " - Amanda Brown

"The course was very helpful to challenge me to examine my setting and my internal self. Thank you" -

"Brilliant" -

"There were some good ideas to consider in risk assessment and declining working with a client. However, it was too weighted on psychodynamic theory for me and personally made it a bit heavy to reflect on & digest. More varied examples of risky situations would have made it more interesting. The self-care was quite brief & basic. " -

"I really enjoyed this course, which has some very important points in relation to our therapeutic role. Role of the therapist is demanding and requires a huge amount of psychological strength. This course highlights a very good aspects of self care in the role of Therapist." - M Dvonc

"I enjoyed this course very much. It brought home to me how crucial it is to be safe in this type of work. I was particularly impacted upon by the potential risk that can come from therapists not being authentic with what is going on for them. Trying to be the perfect therapist: not admitting their own limitations and denying feelings and alerts can prove costly, in terms of own safety. I particularly liked the information on referring on, which seemed sensible and gave me confidence on how to do this if the situation ever arises. Thank you" - Linda Rodgers MBACP (Accred)

"My first on-line learning experience. Really enjoyed the course and being able to dip in and out of it. So helpful to consider all of the issues raised and has prompted me to think more about self-care." -

"I felt that this course was extremely informative and has been very valuable to me - a young female therapist having recently established a private practice. I have found it more useful that someone just saying that private practice is a "bad idea", or displaying their reservations about the safety of the therapist in private practice. This course has provided education on the potential pitfalls (as there are with anything we do), and I especially liked and related to the module on analysing our own unconscious motivations, and therefore dangers. I feel confident in making choices about who I see and where I see them." - Christina Poynts

"Even though I consider myself to be an experienced therapist this has been a very useful reminder of the perils and pitfalls which can come about in client work. It has helped me be more structured in how I assess for risk, how I would go about referring on and some useful pointers around self-care. Many thanks." - Martin

"Fantastic thought-provoking and well-written e-learning course. Helpful as I embark upon setting up my own private practice" - Suzanne

"I have found this course to be very informative and it helped me to think about other aspects of my safety that I had not thought about previously. Fantastic course. " - Patricia lindsay

"Well-designed and covers multiple aspects of risk clearly. Suitable for practitioners at every level. Informative and thought-provoking. Every placement agency would be well advised to undertake this!" -