Swedish social workers visit Winsford CAMHS.


Dennis Neil – family psychotherapist on far left, Sue Marsh case manager / therapist on far right

In December, a group of social workers from Sweden visited Winsford CAMHS.  Dennis Neill (pictured above) speaks about the visit:

‘I was contacted by Tanja Zyto, social worker from ‘Polarna’, a youth service based in Nacka in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden, who was looking for examples of good practice in the UK to further their team development.  They were interested in how Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP)  CAMHS conducted family therapy with families and young people.’

The Polarna Team:

  • engages with young people and families to help prevent youth disorder and anti-social behaviour in their community.
  •  works with young people with drug and alcohol problems, domestic violence and sexual harassment.
  • recruits young people from the age of 17 to 20 years to run special youth events for other young people in their local community.
  • link with local authority social care, schools, youth recreation centres, the police, field volunteers and private sector agencies.
  • believe that A whole village is needed to raise a child.”

‘The morning began with a presentation by Margaret Hall, art therapist, who discussed the use of art therapy in family work.  This was very well received.  I gave a presentation about Winsford CAMHS.  Polarna were interested in hearing about the referral criteria and demographics, and the scope of our work. It was interesting to hear comparisons between our working methods and those used in Swedish mental health services.’

‘Sue Marsh, case manager/therapist, joined us in the afternoon and we explored the use of reflective family therapy in our casework, and as a way of thinking and reflecting about missing family members in therapy.  The Polarna team observed a role play from behind a two way screen before joining Sue and I to reflect on the discussion.’

This was a very enjoyable day for all involved. It was a real privilege to share our work with our Swedish colleagues.

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