Want to know more about how we work?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

We have recently published our first article on Purple Therapy - how we work with disability, our outcomes (how you guys think our support helps) and how we are trying to improve how we measure these improvements in your wellbeing. The aim is to keep people talking about how disabled people get the right support that is empowering and helpful and to highlight to other therapists, NHS organisations and healthcare professionals that more needs to be done in this area, that many do not get this support.

Due to Copyright, we can only publish the abstract and other main points here, but we will do a re-write later this year. If you have an Athens account you can access the whole article for free, or you can email mel@spokzpeople.org.uk to request a free copy. Thank you to everyone who has filled in the before and after questionnaires which made this study possible and are putting Purple Therapy on the map, ensuring every disabled person's right to have empowering emotional and psychological support.

 

Holistic therapy with disabled adults from a social and individual perspective: A service evaluation feasibility study,

is available at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/capr.12137/abstract. Full citation: Halacre, M. and Jalil, R. (2017), Holistic therapy with disabled adults from a social and individual perspective: A service evaluation feasibility study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. doi:10.1002/capr.12137

So what key points are not mentioned in the abstract below:

• Accessible talking therapy is rare - access to a therapist who understands disability even rarer;
• Therapy training does not adequately train therapists in disability matters and without this training, therapists can easily convey the same negative views of disability in society and clients end up feeling worse;
• 57% of our clients for whom we had data, their well being improved. (This goes up to 72% if we include all our measures which couldn’t be included in the paper as you can only use one measurement method per paper);
• Our average waiting time was less than 5 weeks!
• We feel our support is effective because we have personal experience of disability, because we work holistically using education, coaching and tools in trauma and pain and because we support you before and after your sessions and work more flexibly and creatively around your needs. Most importantly we don’t treat you as a patient to be fixed by an expert who has power – we try hard to make sure you have power;

• Measuring improvement is difficult, most questionnaires, including the one we used for this study, do not reflect what being disabled by society is like – the hunt is on to adapt or develop a new one.

Please support our work and help raise the profile of Purple Therapy in any way you can, thank you.

ABSTRACT

Aim

Disabled adults require better access to tailored psychological therapy. A purpose-developed intervention model was implemented at a nonprofit organisation in the UK. The aim was to consider the utility of this approach, designed to accommodate and thereby reduce psychological distress, and to inform future service evaluations, to effectively meet the needs of this client group.

Method

A one group pre and post-test design was employed on the retrospective routine collected data, for clients in receipt of 1-2-1 therapy. Fifty-three of the 91 clients (58%) completed the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) at pre and post-therapy. Common presenting issues for therapy included symptoms of depression, anxiety, coping strategies and spousal relationship issues. Data were subjected to descriptive analyses.

Results

At pretherapy, 91% (n = 83) were categorised as within the clinical range; 52% were either classified at a moderate (n = 23) or moderate-to-severe level (n = 24). A paired-sample t-test indicated a statistically significant difference in mean scores between pre- and post-CORE-OM assessments. Thirty clients (57%) met the criteria for reliable change in a favourable direction (improved), with 19 (36%) meeting the criteria for clinically significant change (recovered). Twenty-two clients (41%) remained unchanged in terms of clinical severity category and one client (2%) deteriorated.

Conclusions

A purpose-developed intervention model comprising a holistic, flexible therapy approach to some extent reduces psychological distress.