Service user feedback

What happens when treatment starts?

What should I expect from the first screening call?

 

Feedback about your experience at Croydon IAPT is important to us. It helps us to understand what we are doing well, identify any problems, and helps us to grow & develop as a service, in response to the needs of the local community.

Sharing Experiences

Some of our Service Users are happy to share their experience of treatment at Croydon IAPT. They do this in the hope that more people will: access help, know more about what we do, and feel encouraged that positive change, health & wellbeing are possible if you work towards it & have the right support.

This is Olivia, she has made a short video talking about her experience

 

We also recently had this letter from one of former our clients, who wanted to detail her experience of Croydon IAPT:

“This time last year I was feeling suicidal and tried to harm myself on 2 occasions. I had suffered with anxiety, depression and OCD in the past and had been on Prozac for over 15 years. I did well without medication for 4 years, but the feelings of anxiety and depression had slowly crept up on me after some traumatic life events, including deaths of family members and a close friend, and injuries I sustained after an accident whilst working as a dance teacher and performer. The injuries resulted in me stopping teaching and performing which left me feeling devastated and caused me extra financial stress.

My GP referred me to Croydon IAPT for some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, as I was determined not to restart antidepressant medication. At the time I felt that life was hopeless and even doubted that therapy would help me. I was experiencing anxiety, panic and fear on a daily basis and this led to panic attacks and OCD behaviour which started to affect my other job as a Medical Secretary. I often couldn’t get in to work due to the panic I was feeling. I was also struggling with daily pain from my injuries and the stress made this worse.

However, once my therapy began I started to feel improvements in my mood within the first few sessions. I had been feeling worthless and weak as I could not control my moods and I felt guilty about feeling miserable all the time, but talking with my psychotherapist made me feel normal again and I felt a sense of relief that made me see that there was light at the end of the tunnel. My therapist taught me strategies to control some of my anxieties and OCD behaviour and also helped me to challenge the negative thoughts I had about myself which stemmed back to previous childhood traumas. We also had some sessions covering mindfulness and meditation to help with my chronic pain and anxiety.

The sessions and periods in between were challenging, but well worth it. I have now been discharged from therapy without having to go back on antidepressants and feel much more in control of my anxieties and mood. From having regular talking therapy I have learned so much about how strong and capable I am, and how not to beat myself up over everything and worry about things that may never happen. This is not to say that I still worry more than most and I have my fair share of stresses in life, but I now have the tools to help me deal with life’s pressures and upsets and am feeling much more positive about the future. I will probably continue to attend some further workshops that the service offer to further help me along the way to full recovery and I feel reassured to know that there is the possibility of self – referral if I struggle in the future.

MB, Croydon resident.”

This letter is from one of our clients who attended one of the service’s weight management and emotional over eating groups:

“A friend of mine recommended that I enlist on the mood and food group, having benefited from the sessions. Diets don’t work and anyone who struggles with over eating and using food as a comfort or in response to stress will attest to that.

Most of my diets or weight loss problems were a sticking plaster on a deeper issue, how I related and respond to food in my every day life and how I abuse it when under stress, tired  or emotionally vulnerable.

What the mood and food group does is help you identify these processes and through group work help you process the reasons why you over eat and help you find alternative ways of dealing with and overcoming the compulsion to over eat.

This is something that could relate back to child hood and the kind of family we grew up in and their response to food, was it used as a comfort, bribe, punishment even?

The group has given me some constructive tools to help me in my everyday walk with my eating. I actually have lost 3 stone and am actually maintaining my weight, within a few pounds, the self loathing has gone and a more healthy approach to the “bad” days, has enabled me to follow a more healthy lifestyle and attitude to food.

I thoroughly recommend the group and it is good to know you can share with people who are in similar circumstances to you.

K – Croydon resident.”

This feedback came from a client who finished a course of one to one cognitive behavioural therapy sessions with one of our therapists:

“This year I decided to refer myself to the IAPT services after suffering a panic attack on the train which was so bad I was then assisted off the train and couldn’t go into work. This was when I realised I had to do something about my phobia. I have suffered for years (over 20) with emetophobia being afraid of vomit, which to most people sounds silly and they most often respond with ‘I don’t like sick either, don’t worry’ or ‘just don’t think about it, it’s all in the mind’ which was pretty frustrating. It was only my sister, mum, fiancé and a few close friends that really understood my awful fear.

It completely affected my life everyday, very drastically and I would avoid many situations. This would include most social events due to the fear of people being drunk which would lead them to potentially being sick, avoiding people on trains just incase they were sick, extreme ocd behaviours which included excessive use of anti bacteria hand gels and anti nausea medication just incase I was sick or thought I felt sick, I would avoid some children, people at work if they had bugs as well as certain foods just incase. I would suffer with anxiety to the point I would be shaking and crying because of the thought incase I was sick or thought I felt sick and also avoid my friends or fiancé if they had been sick for at least a week.

This phobia had begun since I was around 8 years old or around that age when I witnessed a girl be violently projectile vomit on a bus for at least an hour and my mum decided that we take this girl home as she was on her own. Since then these symptoms started and over time became worse and extreme. I couldn’t work out if it was the sight, smell, sound of vomit or the worry that I would vomit which was the worse thought.

 One day my friend sent me a link to an article in a newspaper where a lady had experienced the same phobia with me and had treatment called cognitive behavioural therapy through a service called iapt. I didn’t register straight away as I wasn’t sure that my phobia was that bad (or at least told myself that) and I was scared as I didn’t want to be labelled mental (which was I felt a stigma attached to receiving therapy). After a couple of weeks though after the panic attack that’s when I realised I needed to see someone as I then saw that my phobia was impacting my job (I didn’t go in just at the thought I could be sick as my fiancé had been sick the night before, which I didn’t even witness but as I was with him that evening I was convinced that I was also going to be sick). This was my breaking point.

So once I plucked up the courage I decided to refer myself. When I told friends and family most thought it was ‘extreme and that I didn’t need therapy’ or that I could get over it reading books etc but I stuck to my guns and waited for my telephone interview and subsequent appointments, which I was really nervous about. I didn’t know what to expect at all. I wondered if I would be going to see a therapist at a mental home or worry about being honest with them as I sounded crazy and they wouldn’t have heard anything like it before.

Anyhow, my appointment soon came round and I went along to meet my therapist for my first session. I was very nervous but actually as the session went on I felt relaxed and that I could open up to my therapist. I felt so pleased and  surprised that she actually understood my fear and looked forward to my sessions.

 Over the weeks the sessions became more intense and really pushed me but at the right pace. I couldn’t ask for a better experience or therapist. My therapist was amazing and very understanding too.

I would highly recommend the service and have done already and they have now registered themselves and are also now receiving therapy. Iapt has given me the tools to now get over my therapy and keep improving. There is a significant improvement and my fears are nothing like they were at all! This service definitely worked for me and I am no longer afraid of vomit! I will continue to do my my exercises and keep a log so I am always able to refer back to my exercise if I need to. I have since encountered being around people who have vomited and been vomitted on too and felt sick and no longer am afraid. My life is now significantly different and way more enjoyable!!!”

CW – Croydon Resident

We received this response from a client who attended a course of our Guided Self Help:

“Prior to contacting Croydon IAPT I was suffering, what felt like, the collapse of my world. A previously confident, ambitious and energetic individual, paralysed by anxiety. I began very pessimistic as to whether simply talking to someone would achieve anything and avoided it for some time. One year on, I can confidently say; I owe my life to the good people at IAPT who helped me when I needed them the most. IAPT is so much more than just talking it through, it’s an education on how to deal with what can feel like the impossible. Through the help of IAPT, I haven’t just learnt how to deal with my anxiety, I’ve learnt to live with, or without it, I’m happy again.”

– Croydon Resident

 

At the end of your treatment we will ask for your feedback, but at any other time, please feel free to get in touch.

You can contact us in the following ways:

Tel: 020 3228 4040

Email: CroydonIAPT@slam.nhs.uk

Or write to us at the following address:

Croydon IAPT
Wickham Park House
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Beckenham
Kent
BR3 3BX