Dysphasia Therapy Within Private Practice
I went into Independent Practice some 16 years ago having spent 13 years in one shape or form in the public sector. My posts have been varied and interesting including Dysphasic Group Co-ordinator at City University and Research Therapist.
Being committed to the ethos of the NHS meant going into Independent Practice was a difficult choice. However it has allowed me to pursue my first love unhampered. That is being a therapist working with clients directly on a regular basis and experiencing first-hand the amazing changes people can make.
Working alongside people whose language skills have been so confounded by their stroke can be very challenging. Yet observing them emerge, as competent communicators is very rewarding. Even in many cases enabling them to re-engage with the world as speakers and language users once more.
Being an Independent Practitioner therefore means I am in a better position to undertake the job more effectively and the freedom to work in a client centred way.
First and foremost it means I have time. Time is so necessary to undertake this painstaking work. Without time the depth of exploration is limited and so inevitably is the recovery.
Secondly, working with clients over a longer period means I have developed my therapy skills and increased my knowledge. I am therefore a very confident and more effective practitioner.
Thirdly, because I have more time I can nurture more robust relationships with my clients. There is no doubt in my mind that the quality of the ‘working relationship’ has a profound impact on the outcome and effectiveness of the therapy we prescribe.
Go to this link to see my presentation on the Power of the Therapeutic Relationship
Independent Practice is however not an option for all. Many people do not have the finances to fund such long-term work. NHS provision in many regions is seriously under-resourced. Therefore little or nothing is available to many people with dysphasia who rely on the public sector. This is a shocking state of affairs.
Yes I am now an Independent Practitioner and as things stand I would not dream of returning to the NHS. But I feeling uneasy. I feel uneasy because it is increasingly only within the confines of Independent Practice that we as therapists can offer the quality of service people with dysphasia deserve.
This really should not be the case.
Geraldine Wotton- Speech & Language Therapist