Wednesday, 6 October 2010

i'm sorry, you're just not ready

we met with someone this week, who was interested in coming on the course. kind of interested, kind of scared. and she'd had a lot go on and was just on the cusp of wanting to deal with it, wanting to open herself up and see what was there.

and because the content of the course would be challenging her relationships with the people she currently relies on for support, she would need additional support to go alongside the course. such as counselling. but there is a huge waiting list for counselling. so really, it's not ok to invite her on to an intense, structured course which is going to break down her support system while offering no alternative. and there is no unstructured group available, even though that would be the simplest thing to offer. and there is no counselling for several months.

so the worker's automatic response to this was to say "i'll talk with her caseworker and explain that she's just not ready." aarrgh. i mean, i argued and said that it's important to make sure the woman knows that it's not that there's something wrong with her, that the lack is with the service. but this could easily be lost in translation between so many workers. and it infuriates me that the unthinking default is to place the blame, constantly and in tiny ways and turns of phrase, with the service users and not with the service. it's sending the constant low-level message that they can't do anything right. remind you of anything?

and most of all i feel so sad for this woman, who is doing the scary thing of opening up and being honest about her history and her needs, and that there is no support for her. when she is so ready. and she was even going to rearrange her work so that she could do the course. more and more 'clients' are getting jobs midway through their support and having to give up the support. because obviously the work can't be flexible. all this pressure to get off benefits just means that people don't even have time...

it's crazy that we've created this course and the course is already excluding the 'wrong type' of survivor. so i guess i'm just repeating myself and saying that it's all bollocks except for open, long-term, user-led groups.

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