Engaging Activity Supporting Existence

EASE wellbeing proposes an approach to therapy which aims to explore the sense of definite-ness or stuck-ness that lead clients into therapy while promoting a purposeful engagement with their difficulties. This approach aims to help the engaging with difficulties in a constructive and creative way using their personal resources and insight. At EASE we think all human beings experiencing or having experienced psychological difficulties do wish to change and recover, whether the change is one of understanding of self or other or the world or another form of change. We think that therapy is a process that may help clients to contemplate, understand and chose to engage with the possibilities of change that clients are presented with in their daily life.

The Challenges

This way of working was thought of and initiated as a compliment or challenge to the emergence within the public sector of the original implementation of the UK government initiative called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). Thus we developed this approach in the environment of the English National Health Service (NHS) as an attempt to challenge the medical approach of contemporary dominant psychiatric and psychological practices in primary care services.

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We work in GP surgeries

Our services are integrated within NHS GP surgeries in London. This allows easy access to the service as the majority of people live close to their GPs. It additionally reduces the stigma associated with mental health by attending non-specialized mental health sites rather than a mental health clinic or hospital. Importantly, being based in local GP surgery’s and closely collaborating the GP with the process of therapy reduces the barriers between physical healthcare and mental healthcare by instantly rendering the GP in a position to be involved in collaborating with the client and the psychological therapist. This last factor has and remains largely missing from mental health services.

Deconstructing the Medicalisation of Misery

Currently, people present to their GPs with issues of distress that is often expressed in the language of illness. At EASE Wellbeing, we rigorously assess the clients’ difficulties as this language of pathology and symptomatology does not adequately capture their living experience of distress. Thus, we promote the use of subjective descriptions that are then refined into goals that clients wish to achieve by addressing their difficulties in therapy. This personalises the endeavour and encourages the person to own their own version of how they experience difficulties. To this end, the intervention then allows for addressing the language of illness as a reflection of how a person relates to themself, their other relationships and their worlds rather than reducing their experience to psychopathology or symptomatology and the language of illness, thereby encouraging the person to be more of an active participant in their experience.

Read about the EASE psychotherapy team