Centres for Wellness and Centres for Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Performance
The ideas behind the Centres for Wellness and Centres for Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Performance are similar – to draw together into local but visible organisations professional services that they, themselves, control, own and deliver under a social enterprise franchise arrangement.
The Allied Health Professions are experiencing the same degrees of challenge, pressure and uncertainty as Applied Psychologists working in the NHS. They are being challenged, in my view, because they are professional groups that exercise professional judgement in the face of presenting problems from clients. The professional discretion that all professionals use is extremely difficult to describe as a protocol, and, as such, falls outside the current demand for precise descriptions of inputs, process and outcome. Yet, professional discretion is essential for the open minded approach to assessment, formulation and intervention.
I want to see the Centres attract the level 3 professional whose expertise is based on the accumulation of eclectic skills, knowledge and experience combined with highly toned specialist interests – toned as opposed to tuned – toned has the implication of toughness, mixed with smoothness – a well toned body springs to mind.
Can they work, you ask? Can they work when major commissioners are only interested in simple and cheap solutions? Can they work in a society that is overwhelmingly under threat from so many angles?
The Centres are really the only solution, organisationally, to the challenges that these professional groups are facing. The idea doesn’t represent a fallback position, it represents a restoration of professionalism that is being drowned out by the process of dumbing down professional judgement. Local communities will respond well to authoritative professionalism, particularly when the results of professional intervention are seen as having impact. What seems to be required is exposure of the inner professional, so far largely hidden from view. Such exposure means the engagement of professionals with their audience, which is another endorsement of the Centres idea, as they will be locally based and the services locally available.
Will they happen? – yes.
Will they happen quickly? possibly. There are pilots taking place now for the Centres for Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Performance, and our next workshop on November 18th in London will speed things along. The pace of the environmental changes will influence the pace at which the Centres will emerge.