Counselling, Supervision, Training, Research, Teaching, Writing. Providing therapeutic services to the people of East Lancashire and beyond.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Pro-active Carer Programme

I had some good news today from my friend and counselling colleague Adam Gibson. For several years Adam and I have co-facilitated a personal development course for people who care for others. We call it the 'Pro-active Carer Programme'. Today Adam told me we have funding from Blackburn Carers Service to run the programme again, our fifth time! This is wonderful news because we enjoy working together; but more importantly it's wonderful because we know from feedback and from a one-year follow up study that it really WORKS. Thank you Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service

People who care for others often experience significant problems as a result. Caring is likely to affect their employment, income, physical and mental health and overall quality of life. In a caring relationship a state known as 'co-dependency' can develop. In a co-dependent relationship the carer ceases to enjoy a separate life and identity of their own and become bound up in the life of the person they care for. This can lead to anger and resentment, closely followed by guilt. This kind of relationship often harms the person in need of care, because the tendency is for the carer to 'manage' the relationship by becoming more and more responsible for the person they care for. This further dis-empowers the cared for person and deepens the co-dependency.

The Pro-active Carer Programme addresses the problem of co-dependency. The Programme comprises seventeen two-hour sessions split into modules and covering communication skills, increasing self-esteem and confidence, managing change and assertiveness skills. It uses lots of techniques and approaches from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help participants develop resources and make changes in their lives.

The greatest resource is the group itself. A lot of time is spent forming and reforming the group each week. The group becomes safe, cohesive and supportive. Time spent forming the group creates a sense of belonging, raises self-esteem and leads to accelerated learning.

So, come November Adam and I will begin again with another group, helping participants to make positive and sustainable changes to benefit them and the people they care for.

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