Working as a Trainee HI-CBT Practitioner, the timing of my week can vary, but my tasks and appointments are usually the same. Rather than documenting a typical ‘day by day’, I’ve categorised my role and the tasks I often find myself doing on a weekly basis....
Before each session, I need to have an idea of what that session may look like. Although the young person and I will set an agenda at the start of the session, I will often plan out discussion points to guide the session and gather appropriate information. This could be a task such as collecting outcomes (questionnaires to guide our decision making and track progress), looking at psychoeducational material, or printing worksheets to set up a homework task.
Currently I have 6 active cases, and one or two CPMs (Care Planning Meetings) per week. Sometimes these are in our building, and other times they are in schools or in the community. I often travel to various schools in Middlesbrough and Redcar, along with Community Hubs or settings that we’re able to utilise. Some days I might not be in the office at all, as I’ll hop from school to school!
Each of my sessions usually lasts for 60 minutes - I start each of my sessions with a verbal check-in (where we chat about their day/week), and we will then complete an ORS (Outcome rating Scale) which will guide the conversation further. We will then set an agenda (our plan for the session) and have a quick recap of our last session. We will then move on to look at the content the child/young person would like to bring, along with agenda items that I’ve added also. We will then collaboratively set a home-work task for the child/young person to complete before their next session. This may be a log (of their thoughts/mood) or a task such as a Behavioural Experiment. The child/young person will then complete an SRS (Session Rating Scale) to feedback on how they’ve found their session.
A Care Planning Meeting is a meeting with the child/young person and their family to see if we’re the most suitable service to offer help at this time. All Practitioners deliver CPMs, and sometimes there may be two of us if we’ve got a new member of staff shadowing. Due to being in the IAPT team, I usually conduct IAPT Assessments, which means I ask questions to see if the child/young person would be suitable for CBT. Surprisingly, not every therapy is appropriate for every person, so thankfully we can offer lots of different therapies to help lots of different people! Sometimes children can be a little frightened when they come in, so I usually tell them a little about the service and who I am, and we chat about things of interest such as their favourite food (mine’s pizza!). CPMs can take around an hour, as we gather lots of information to help guide our decision.
Each session/CPM requires a little follow-up. This may involve calling another agency/service if agreed with the parent, analysing/uploading outcomes or making notes of the session so we don’t forget what we discussed.
Each week we gather as a team to discuss referrals made to our service. Sometimes we are not the most suitable service for that particular child/young person, and we need to decide if we can offer an assessment, or if they need to be signposted to somewhere more suitable such as CAMHS. We each take turns reading a referral, chatting as a group to see who would be most suitable to assess. Often we need more information for a couple of our referrals, so one of our managers will chase this up.
This is an opportunity for Practitioners to get together and ask each other questions. It could be that we’re not sure what modality is most appropriate following a CPM, or maybe we don’t know any good ice breaker games! This process is strictly confidential and we don’t give out any names or personal details.
I have Case Management usually once a month. This is an opportunity for my Case Manager to discuss my cases and check all relevant information is recorded on our internal database. We will also discuss plans moving forward, and whether any of my cases are at the point of discharge.
As I’m currently training, I receive two lots of Clinical Supervision per week - one internal, and one external, put in place by University. My internal Clinical Supervision is facilitated by our IAPT Lead, and I attend alongside another Trainee HI CBT Practitioner. We show small snippets of video clips and discuss half of our caseload (with the other half being discussed at our other Clinical Supervision). We usually reflect on our own practice, and sometimes decide as a team what we’re going to do moving forward. Our Clinical Supervisor will support us with training, and we may look at models that we’ve not fully covered from University.
Whilst studying, I am fortunate enough to be provided a study day. This is a day dedicated to further my learning, and I sometimes catch up on any tasks I have not completed during the week (due to doing other things such as making phone calls or having meetings with parents). The start of our course has been particularly essay-heavy, so I have ensured that I have focused on my essay and academic reading/writing during this time too.
Overall, my week is pretty exciting! Sometimes it can be incredibly busy, as I’m often thinking about 10 different things at once! But, that's what makes my role so interesting, and some days it doesn’t feel like work at all. I feel incredibly fortunate that I am able to do the job that I do, as there's nothing better than seeing the progress made from all my children and young people.