Welcome to our NEW practitioner training & support portal

Who is this portal for?

The portal is aimed at any professional psychological therapist (disabled and nondisabled) working with disabled clients with physical impairments and professionals who would like to learn more about disability, affirmative therapy and the social model. This portal will be useful to clinical and counselling psychologists, IAPT workers, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and CPNs for example, but other professionals such as social workers and occupational therapists, personal care assistants (PAs), paid and unpaid carers and advocates will benefit from relevant training.

Do I need training? I don’t ‘see’ disability and treat my clients the same?

If you have similar thoughts, don’t worry, these are very common responses we receive when we encourage therapists to seek specialist training around disability and the whole purpose of setting up this training hub. These thoughts come from a natural place of hope and expectation that as humans and therapists we can ‘do better’ than how society treats those from minority groups. If you have similar thoughts, it just indicates you will benefit greatly from our training, both for yourself and your clients. We encourage you to read Chris’ blog around the statement ‘I don’t see disability’: as a disabled person and therapist, it makes him “want to swallow his own eyeballs” when he hears it. He explains very eloquently how this statement is inaccurate because not only do we ‘see’ disability and difference, in fact we are able to recognise difference by the time we are 5 years old. He also shares how these statements can actually be quite harmful because we then (un)knowingly ignore a huge area of someone’s life.

Looking for support for your disabled client or patient or their family member or carer?

Do check out our wellbeing community & programme here.

What is the social model view of disability? Why do you say ‘disabled person’ and not ‘person with a disability’?

This model recognises that besides the impact of an impairment, what disabled people and their families’ as well as research tells us is that what impacts their mental health most is how they are treated and segregated by society and its systems. Working from this view is usually the most empowering way to work with disabled clients, patients and families. You will learn more about this during your CPD.

For example, we use the term ‘disabled person’ to acknowledge that someone is disabled by society MORE than by their ‘impairment’. The term ‘person with a disability’ puts the onus on the individual and as a result tends to ignore how society disables and segregates. Many disabled and nondisabled people are unaware of this distinction and may even prefer ‘person with a disability’ with the reasoning “they see the person first”.

Who are our trainers?

Our trainers are people with personal lived experience of difference and disability and/or are allies with many years of working in this field. Some have professional mental health qualifications. More modules will follow with different trainers and contributors. You can read more here about our collective training approach.

What does your annual membership of £40 include?

  • Module 1 (see below)
  • Annual membership access to our community:
    • A forum where you can ask questions to the community about the various courses. You can also ask questions about issues you are experiences with clients (protecting confidentiality)
    • Access to news & events
    • The community provides a space for continuous learning and reflection, and our ground rules and moderator ensure it is a safe space to learn together.
  • In the future, you can pay for the different courses/modules you would like to do. Each module entails a video with a PowerPoint and additional videos, links to written resources and other materials.

As a non-profit organisation, revenue raised from our training goes towards supporting our trainers, educational outreach, developing training, website costs and supporting disabled clients & families, many of whom are on low incomes.

Additional add-ons:

  • 1-2-1 ad hoc post-training support and supervision available with Mel at £15 per 15 minutes (where available). We recognise few supervisors have disability experience, so we offer a space for you to discuss the exercises, ask further questions, or have supervision to discuss a specific client. You can request this by emailing Mel on mel@spokzpeople.org.uk.

Can’t afford the membership? Other ways you can learn more about disability:

Do you have disability training you would like to share with more people?

Do get in touch on mel@spokzpeople.org.uk. You will remain in full ownership and control of your training. You can also opt to get involved with helping to run forums/chats/events related to your specific training. By having training from different therapists in one place, we can offer a wider approach to disability. We can also market our individual trainings as a group which will reduce costs.

Our passion is 4-fold:

  • to improve therapy for disabled people by having more trained therapists
  • to support both temporarily able-bodied and disabled trainers to earn more passive income
  • to enable more professionals to find the right disability training
  • In the future, together as a community, we can use all the collated contacts to create an association or network, similar to BAATN (The Black, African, Asian Therapy Network) and Pink Therapy for sexual diversity, and have more power to create change within therapy associations, the media etc.

Accessibility

All videos are captioned and we also provide a transcript in PDFs. If you have any questions about membership or access needs (we are 93% W3C-compliant), please contact us on info@spokzpeople.org.uk before registering. If you become a member, we will do our best to respond to any feedback you have on increasing access and to rectify things we may have missed.

Module 1: Introduction to Working with Disabled Clients FREE – included in your annual membership

This short module provides an introduction into working affirmatively with disability and covers the following questions:

  • Why is it challenging to engage in disability?
  • What literature evidence is there of client experiences?
  • What does it mean to view disability from a Social Model perspective
  • How can we increase empowering therapy?

What do you get?

  • A 1 hour PowerPoint training including reflective exercises
  • 2.5 hours or additional video material, conversations with:
    • Brian Watermeyer, a disabled clinical psychologist, on disability and therapy
    • Simon Minty, a disability consultant and presenter, on his experiences of therapy
    • Damon Rose, BBC journalist and founder of BBC Ouch, on his experiences of therapy
    • Steve Dent, CEO Spokz and Director Spokz People CIC, on wellbeing
    • Pippa Mundy, disabled trainee clinical psychologist, on disability and therapy
    • Katy Evans, disabled client, on her experiences of therapy
  • Questions to go with additional video material.
  • Links to resources for additional reading and reflection
  • Instant access for 1 year
  • Dip in and out throughout the year
  • 5 hours CPD certificate if required
  • Annual membership to the community forum for ongoing support and CPD.
  • Optional add-ons: 1-2-1 post-training support and/or supervision.
  • Individual licence only: for multiple users and information about discounts for organisations, please contact us at info@spokzpeople.org.uk

Testimonials

“I have just completed Module 1 and I really enjoyed it. For a relatively small amount of money, you get access to lots of different resources. I absolutely loved the interview with Brian Watermeyer and I feel I need to watch it again to absorb all the knowledge that he shared.” – Klaudia Richter, counsellor, March 2022

“A huge thank you for this. The guidelines are absolutely brilliant. So well written and comprehensive but concise. They pack in so much! I will be sharing this with other therapists. It is completely in synch with my own thinking about therapy and disability. It has been quite isolating as a disabled therapist trying to work with people with acquired disabilities in a non-disabled environment, so it is very refreshing to read stuff written by someone who gets it completely. A brilliant platform and brilliant training” – Clinical Psychologist, March 2022

Training for PAs (Personal Care Assistants)

This section is coming soon, please check back. It will include training, resources and ongoing support for you.