S54: Stepping Stones Recovery Journal – “Helped me to understand in a more clear and less destructive way”. Using a multidisciplinary workbook on an adolescent inpatient unit allowed clients to be at the centre of their inpatient stay, take control o

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Ashleigh Taylor, Kara Mure

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention,Suicide Prevention,Lived Experience, Recovery

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Utley and Garza (2011) describe that the use of journaling as a counselling intervention is a creative way to engage clients in a therapeutic activity that can lead to greater self-awareness and growth, both during session and in between sessions.

Stepping Stones, a child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit, where at risk teenagers engage in individual and group work has implemented a journal to assist patients and families be more engaged in and take ownership of their treatment and recovery. The journal was designed to complement the model of care and group work by providing a physical means of collating therapeutic work to assist in recovery and aid communication for both staff, the patient and their families. A secondary function the journal serves is promoting distress tolerance and providing a means of coping and containment, giving the patients a tool to externalise their emotions.

“A central tenet of the recovery model is that empowerment of the user is important in achieving good outcome in serious mental illness” (Warner. R, 2010). Our aim is to share our patients’ experiences of how the recovery journal "helped me to understand in a clearer and less destructive way (patient A, age 16)” and supported collaboration and empowerment within our population.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will take away insight into an innovative multidisciplinary practice, how this influenced the culture and staff attitudes on an inpatient unit. Furthermore, we hope to educate the audience on the positive outcomes for patients and their families.

Learning Objective 2: The recovery journal talks to the need for collaboration with staff, families and the young person to assist in better outcomes. It supports the overarching model of care utilised by mental health services. It incorporates engagement in group work, safety planning and distress tolerance, which are key facets in providing support to adolescents in recovery.

Warner, R. (2010) Does the scientific evidence support the recovery model? The Psychiatrist 34: 3–5.
Utley, A. and Garza, Y. (2011) The Therapeutic Use of Journaling With Adolescents. Journal of Creativity In Mental Health 6 (1): 29-41.

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