When I see clients at a project aimed at reducing presentations at accident and emergency by adolescents following self harm, usually they are working with someone else for psychotherapeutic work. However that doesn’t mean that they don’t talk with me about what is going on for them and over time, just as with my private practice clients, I learn things that do not come out during the first few sessions.
I have often heard it stated that middle class, bright eloquent young people get the best deal because they and their families are better at seeking out help and know how to work systems better to get it. There is some truth in this, however, sometimes when assessed, these polite eloquent individuals are seen as coping and services deem them not ill enough to need help.
One young person I see along with her family struggled for three years trying to get help because of this. The one positive aspect is that having found somewhere to get help the research does show that she is more likely to benefit from it than some of those need may be picked up more quickly.
It is clear that she benefits both from the psychotherapeutic and the aromatherapy input.
From this it is clear to me that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMH) and others need to be careful in how they address bias within the system. In trying to counter the bias towards those who are better at seeking help some in real need can be excluded.
Also, I need to think about how I can make my services more accessible to those who might not automatically recognise aromatherapy as something that might help them.