Consultancy Services at the Cassel Hospital

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The Cassel Hospital is recognised internationally as a leading treatment, research and training centre. Since 1948, the Cassel has pioneered a psychosocial model for assessment and treatment, integrating psychoanalytic and social systems theory. This model extends beyond clinical practice, providing a framework for understanding the life of an institution.

The Consultancy, Training and Professional Development services described in this brochure draw on the rich expertise developed over the past fifty years.These services are designed to be of particular interest to managers and practitioners seeking to work therapeutically in residential and daycare settings in mental health, learning difficulties, or child and family services.Organisations involved in the care or treatment of people with other long term disabilities are also likely to find some of these services relevant.Training and consultancy services are individually tailored to the special needs of the client, and can be arranged at the Cassel or at the client's base. Periodically we will send out questionnaires to explore need and interest, and will set up new seminars, workshops and conferences to meet these.

Consultancy services

Role consultancy is available for individual managers, who wish to explore options for developing their roles, both at an individual level and in relation to their organisation. This can provide a valuable reflective space which is particularly important in today's stressful climate of constant change. This can be arranged in conjunction with a day's visit to the Cassel Therapeutic Community.Team development is provided for groups of professionals who wish to develop their functioning as a team. This work may be ongoing, at the client's base; or involve awaydays and retreats off-site. The focus may be on clinical practice issues, the dynamics of multidisciplinary working, managing change, or policy review.Organisational development offers the opportunity for an institution to examine the dynamics of the whole system, including the context within which it is working. Often a particular unit within an organisation may be perceived as problematic or failing, which can lead to an atmosphere of persecution and blame which in turn prevents constructive resolution of the difficulties. Careful assessment and multi-faceted consultancy interventions can break the cycle and enable the organisation to move forward. Organisational development can also be very useful in the management of change, and in improving interorganisational relations.Clinical consultation concerning the management of difficult patients can be provided by members of the medical, psychotherapy or nursing staff from our Adult, Adolescent or Families Units. The impact of the patient on the professionals involved may also become a focus for consultation.

Training and Professional Development

Courses in psychosocial practice. The Cassel has a long history of offering a unique training, originally for nurses, in psychosocial care. The in-house two-year Diploma course is now accredited by Manchester University, with a new intake each September. In response to the growing interest in the application of the principles of psychosocial nursing to other disciplines and settings, the Cassel is now offering a number of other courses, including some which are provided at the client organisation's base as part of a wider organisational development initiative.Visitors' Days are hosted fortnightly for up to three visitors at a time. Where relevant, arrangements can be made for visitors to meet with a member of the Consultancy Service or of the clinical staff at the end of their visit.Care in the Community workshops bring together managers and practitioners from a broad range of agencies in a unique multidisciplinary and multi-agency setting where the anxieties generated by caring for the mentally ill in the community can be identified, addressed and thought about. This not only helps individual participants to work more effectively, but provides them with opportunities for interagency collaboration and problem-solving.Placements lasting from a few days to several months can be arranged for people wishing to develop their own thinking and practice through an in-depth experience of working within the psychosocial care model. In the past, these placements have provided opportunities for professional development to many qualified clinicians, service directors and others from all over the U.K. and abroad. We recommend placements of at least a month where possible, and during this period role consultancy is provided to enable the visitor to think about how they might want to apply what they are learning to their 'back-home' situation. Student placements for trainee psychotherapists, social workers and student nurses can also be arranged.Study days and seminars. Topics offered in the past include 'Working with Suicidal Clients', 'Working with Young Adults who Self-harm', 'Work with Families where there has been Physical or Sexual Abuse', 'Interdisciplinary Work in Mental Health', 'Change and Resistance to Change in Individuals, Groups and Organisations', 'Developing Assessment Skills'. Workshops and seminars on particular topics can be arranged either at the Cassel or at the client's base.Conferences for clinicians are organised at least once a year, and Cassel staff are regularly invited to speak at conferences and on courses sponsored by other organisations.Opportunities for longer-term professional development include:


Requests for any of the services overleaf will go to a member of the core team who will liaise with you in the first instance. When the nature of the input required has been clarified, the core team may call on the wider interdisciplinary resources of experienced Cassel Hospital staff, or in some instances on our network of associate colleagues. Core team members:

For further information:

Fiona Wilkins,
Consultancy,Training and Professional Development Service,
The Cassel Hospital,
1 Ham Common,
TW10 7JF

Telephone: [+44 | 0] 181-237 2947
Fax: [+44 | 0] 181-237 2996