Through direct clinical work with clients, our in-house psychologist has brought clinical assessment and treatment to people who have never had it before, as well as opening doors to enable access to other services.

The majority of FLIC clients have experienced profound trauma and abuse, both in childhood and throughout their adult lives. However, it is rare that they have been able to access treatment to address the impact of this trauma on their mental health. Many clients have previously been described as ‘not treatment ready’.

FLIC aims to demonstrate that by working with people in a flexible way (alongside client-facing workers offering practical support) clients are able to engage with psychological treatment. We are using these outcomes to demonstrate how it's possible  to work with people with multiple needs to identify and address their mental health needs.

Formal assessments are routinely carried out with FLIC clients to assess and monitor their mental state and any underlying psychological difficulties. Once their treatment needs are identified, psychological reports are prepared and shared with relevant agencies, including Community Mental Health Services, the criminal justice system, the Parole Board and housing, benefits and debt agencies.

By identifying the client’s psychological needs using evidence-based clinical tools, FLIC workers have been able to advocate for access to support, with the result that many clients have been able to have their mental health and medical needs better met through mainstream services in the community.

"At 44 I'm a bit of an emotional dinosaur. I've always kept everything in but that’s caused me so many problems that I'm trying to talk." - Derek

Our psychological assessment work has also improved outcomes for our clients within the judicial system: Psychological reports have influenced sentencing decisions, resulting in clients receiving community sentences. This enables them to receive the intensive support and treatment they need, while retaining housing, rather than going into custody.

This work evidences that our client group requires a flexible approach to provision that is rarely available through existing mental health/therapeutic services, many of which have strict entry criteria that bar clients with multiple disadvantage from accessing support. It is also highlighting gaps in services that will need to be tackled so that clients with multiple needs can receive the support they need to address their underlying trauma issues.

Self Discovery Groups

Our ‘Self-Discovery’ Group offers clients the opportunity to reflect on the link between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and to work through the issues that arise from this together. We are testing out and evaluating this group-work model and exploring whether it is a something that could be delivered in other services.

Participants are invited to explore how their core beliefs impact on their behaviour and how this can, at times, get in the way of them addressing their underlying psychological issues. The group employs motivational counselling techniques, with an empathic, listening and supportive approach.

The group has been well received and participants have requested increased session time, indicating positive levels of engagement in psychological treatment and a motivation to change.

The outcomes of these sessions are being monitored and evaluated and will be used to inform our recommendations regarding access to psychological therapies and system change.