Bikur Cholim’s intensive efforts at restructuring its Talking Therapies service have been rewarded with the achievement of the BACP Accredited Service status. The BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) is the UK’s leading supervisory body for Talking Therapies. Organisational Accreditation demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to the safe and ethical delivery of counselling and psychotherapy services and training, and Bikur Cholim is the first Charedi service to have achieved this status. Bikur Cholim was praised for the quality of its submission which reflected the highest standards in all areas of provision. The report by the BACP assessment team was glowing and included the following comments “On the whole this is an excellent application showing a well organised service providing a much needed service to clients. Bikur Cholim should be proud of its Counselling Service and its achievements to date. We look forward to welcoming you as a new accredited counselling service”.
As well as a rigorous process of accreditation of services, the BACP also maintains a Register of individual therapists who have successfully completed approved courses and practice to strict standards. Whilst anyone undertaking training in therapy can apply to become a ‘member’ of the BACP, only qualified practitioners who meet strict standards and enter into a contractual commitment to continue to adhere to those standards or risk de-registration can become Registered Therapists. As well as achieivng organsiational accreditation, all Bikur Cholim’s therapists are Registered Therapists with either the BACP or the BABCP (the equivalent body for Cognitive Behaviorual Therapy).
Clinical oversight of the service is provided by Dr. Jenny Taylor, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and former Chair of the Clinical Division of the British Psychological Society and she has been directly involved in the restructure of the service. In its restructured service, clients are supported to identify what it is they are hoping to achieve in therapy and then they and their therapists jointly review their progress towards those goals, to make sure that what Bikur Cholim is offering works for each client.
All therapies provided are evidence-based which means that there is clinical evidence showing that those therapies are likely to work for that particular problem. Dr. Taylor as clinical lead is also responsible for ensuring that Bikur Cholim’s therapists have the right skill set to manage the cases presented and in cases which are identified to require specialist psychiatric support, there are pathways in place to facilitate appropriate and smooth referrals.
Bikur Cholim is committed to supporting its therapists to develop skills in a range of evidence-based approaches - four therapists have recently been funded to complete a one year training in IPT (Interpersonal therapy), a gold standard therapy with an over 75% success rate, trained by the highly acclaimed Dr Rosalyn Law of the Anna Freud Centre.
Ongoing clinical supervision of therapists is provided by Dr Jenny Taylor to the female therapists and by Dr James Hanley to the male therapists (both HCPC registered clinical psychologists) and all supervision sessions have a dual focus on client progress and therapist wellbeing and continued professional development.
Mrs H Scher who manages the Emotional Health Department and carries out initial assessments said, “Along this journey of professional development, we have ensured that the heart of the service is preserved and what all our clients can be confident of is that they will receive a confidential, heimishe service which works under close Rabbinical supervision and is delivered sensitively in a warm and caring way which is the signature of Bikur Cholim”.