Our story began in 2018 when Katie was employed by the African Community Centre and developed their REACH counselling project. I was invited to join the project.
We both shared the same passion for helping others. We had both been trained in the same approach with adults. We came to working with children and nurturing family relationships from differing life experiences and perspectives, but hugely compatible aims and this led us to develop a shared vision that is ‘Family and Therapy’ today. As time passed, to our immense pride, word of our good work spread, which led to more contracts and an increase in staff as REACH grew. We attribute our success to sharing the same values that have underpinned our work from the start:
- hard work, integrity and fairness
- constant self-critical reflection of our practice to better meet client needs
- a passion for constantly learning about current evidence based good practice
- a commitment to using data for robust feedback to clients and GP’s about outcomes the effectiveness of our work
- a personal need to spread kindness, warmth and gratitude whenever we can
As we became more experienced, we realised more and more that the work we did with children was not enough, and that to make a real difference to children’s lives we needed to work with parents also, and to make more links with the network of support that already existed in the community. Over the past few years, our experience, knowledge and vision has developed. Our success with the work we have carried out in the surgeries and the positive feedback we have gained about our work has led us to set up our very own company ‘Family and Therapy’, a centre based in the community, working in collaboration with other organisations. We have developed from initially providing 1:1 counselling to children, young people and adults, to now offering therapeutic services and workshops for children, their families and others in the community.
We are now a ‘not-for-profit’ Community Interest Company (CIC), created to serve the mental health needs of the community with a strong focus on families and strengthening relationships. The poet John Donne, (1623) famously wrote that “No man is an island”. We believe that our mental health and personal well being are intricately tied up in the quality of our personal relationships. For those of us fortunate enough to have families and friends, the more closely we are connected to those people we love, the happier we feel and the more personal satisfaction we have in our lives. For all of us, no matter what our age or circumstance, the ability to make and sustain meaningful and satisfying relationships with others is a fundamental need, whether they be neighbours, work colleagues, or just people we just meet in our everyday lives. At Family and Therapy we prioritise this.
We have been so fortunate to have been able to alleviate the distress of so many children young people and adults through our work so far, and are immensely excited about this new part of out journey together. We hope you will join us on our journey together.