How It Works A series of one-to-one sessions of insightful listening with individual employees in a quiet, confidential setting. The meetings are held in strict confidence and nothing that is said in the sessions is reported back to the employer. The offer of listening space is a gift from the organisation to their employees, for whom it is free at the point of use. It’s an act of practical concern for the wellbeing of their workforce and is profoundly appreciated. We all need help at some time or other, this is quite normal, and so The Mind Clinic offers baby steps towards freer, less troubled minds. We can also offer a group mindfulness session for up to ten participants as part of our day at the workplace. Frequently Asked Questions What happens in a session?+ A Mind Clinic session is shaped by the needs of the client. There are no rules about how the meeting unfolds and no two are the same. Sometimes people bring a particular concern; at other times, they simply want to reflect on their life with someone neutral, someone outside their circle. ‘I don’t know where to begin’ is perhaps the most frequent opening line. Or, ‘I’ve never done this sort of thing before.’ But after twenty minutes the mascara may be running, because tears are OK as well, for men as well as women. Put simply, if it matters to you it matters to us, and the conversation will lead where it leads; there’s no template of approach. By the end, whatever else has happened, we’d hope the client has a better understanding of themselves and their circumstances. And perhaps feel less alone with their concerns. Do we give advice? We’re more likely to help you make decisions for yourself. Our role is to offer a truth mirror – a mirror in which you see yourself and your situation more clearly, helping you to make your own decisions, better decisions. We believe the best advice comes from you. What are the positive outcomes of a session?+ Hopefully, greater understanding of who you are, your present circumstances and the inner resources you possess. One client recently tweeted: ‘Feeling lifted after my first @TheMindClinic session with Simon. Such a lovely team and a great company – learnt a lot about myself too!’ Another person opened a session with the words: ‘I’ve really just come here to check I’m not going mad.’ And it was good that they came, because they weren’t going mad; on the contrary, they were very well – just living through difficult days. But sometimes it helps to have an outside perspective, with no agenda but our situation. The aim of the sessions is the provision of safe, human space into which the individual can bring their whole self, unedited and unfiltered; and there discover resources to develop an authentic and happy life. Some will gain more than others, that is always the way. But it’s significant that with all the companies we serve, after the initial trial period, The Mind Clinic has always been asked to continue. People want us back. What’s success? It’s someone saying, as they did recently, ‘I wish I’d done this years a go.’ Is the session really confidential?+ The conversation is confidential; the company receives no feedback from The Mind Clinic. If the employee wishes to speak of their experience to their employers, that’s entirely up to them. Exceptions to Confidentiality: We must pass on any information to the relevant authorities in cases where human safety is concerned including the following cases: If you threaten harm to yourself or to another person If we believe a child or protected adult is at risk of harm or abuse If the courts instruct us to give information If you share information about a proposed act of terrorism or other illegal act If the Practitioner thinks that either you or someone else is in danger or at risk of harm they would first endeavour to discuss with you the decision for breaking confidentiality. However, the Practitioner retains the right to break confidentiality without prior consultation should they consider that the urgency of the situation requires them to act immediately to safeguard the physical safety of yourself or others. Do I have to be in crisis?+ No, not at all. In fact, we’re more concerned with preventing crises, by dealing with them before they escalate. Life is difficult and we all need to talk with someone sometimes. We’re not primarily set up to deal with people in crisis, although we might be a first port of call from where people can be sign posted to longer term help. What qualifies someone to work as a Practitioner?+ Our Practitioners bring a wide variety of skills, insights and experience to the task: Mark Godson’s professional training is as a psychotherapist in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Transactional Analysis. He has worked with the NHS, offers mindfulness training to individuals and groups and is presently director of an organisation providing resources for well-being in London. Dr Lisa Thorn is a senior lecturer in the psychology department at the University of Westminster, where alongside student support, she specialises in stress and psychophysiology. Simon Parke has written extensively on psychological well-being, including his popular book ‘One-Minute Mindfulness’. He leads retreats, teaches the Enneagram, and apart from his private practice, is currently employed by both the NHS and ABN AMRO bank in staff support and development. But what really qualifies someone to be a Practitioner for The Mind Clinic isn’t a long list of achievements but the ability to offer safe, human and insightful space – space in which the individual can reflect on their lives in a manner that leaves them empowered in their present circumstances, whatever those circumstances may be.