Here at Beacon House we have a team of psychologists and psychotherapists who can work with a wide range of emotional and psychological difficulties in adults.

The adult team at Beacon House works seamlessly alongside the children and families team. Many therapists are skilled and experienced in working with both children and adults, preventing the need for a change of therapist during this developmental transition.

Our philosophy is one of ‘formulation-driven’ practice. A psychological formulation is a way to make sense of how and why a person has come to experience difficulty or distress, in the unique way that this shows itself in each and that individual. You can see a formulation as a bit like a jigsaw puzzle; putting together the pieces of a person’s story in a way that allows us to see a complete picture. It also allows us to see where pieces are missing, and it tells us how best to help.

A psychological formulation is made up of the following puzzle pieces:

  • A person’s early years environment, early experiences of care, and developmental experiences.
  • The story of a person’s key transitional stages (e.g. childhood to adolescence, adolescence to adulthood).
  • Understanding any significant life events.
  • A detailed picture of how difficulty and distress impact upon daily life right now.
  • The factors that seem to make things worse, or stop them from getting better.
  • A person’s strengths, resources, skills and qualities.

All of this information is then brought together, underpinned by psychological theory and research evidence.

Beacon House is not a diagnostic service (this is a little different for our Adult Trauma Clinic – please click here for further information) which means that your assessment here will not result in you being given a ‘label’ or diagnosed with a ‘disorder’. As a service, we don’t subscribe to a medical model of practice.

This is because, in our view, a label only does part of the job in describing the difficulty but doesn’t help so much in explaining or making sense of difficulties, or how to help. One way of understanding mental health is to say that people become distressed and experience emotional difficulties as a result of having had to survive stress, adversity, trauma and/or challenging life events. If we can understand the ‘story’ of harms that have been done, then we can commence the journey of healing.

Common Difficulties

Common difficulties that adults come to Beacon House with include:

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low mood or ups and downs in mood
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Phobias
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Stress
  • Attachment and relationship trauma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Phenomena referred to as ‘Depersonalisation’ and ‘Derealisation’
  • Dissociative experiences
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Self-harming and suicidality
  • Recklessness, impulsivity and risky behaviours

We are able, on occasion, to work with individuals who have a difficult relationship with food and eating. These referrals are considered on a person by person basis. As we do not have medical doctors as part of our team, we are unable to accept referrals when the specific eating difficulty presents a significant risk to the physical health of the client, and requires regular monitoring.

We do not specialise in working with the social, emotional and communication challenges that affect adults with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). However, we are able to offer therapy for adults with a diagnosis of ASC who have experienced trauma and are seeking specialist trauma therapy.

How do I refer to the Adult Team?

To make a referral, simply pick up the phone and call us on 01444 413 939 (for our Cuckfield clinic) or 01243 219 900 (for our Chichester clinic). You are also welcome to email us on referrals@beaconhouse.org.uk.

If you are a GP or another professional worried about an adult, you are welcome to get in touch with us about them, as long as you have their consent to do so. We will then contact the adult and take the referral from there.

Some adults feel anxious, unsure or overwhelmed about contacting us directly. We are happy for relatives or friends to make the initial contact with us but, if you are over 18, we will need to have some indication of your consent to the referral before we can progress it. This might involve you being present with your relative or friend when they contact us, or sending an email to our referrals team.

Our referrals team are warm, compassionate, experienced and sensitive. The information that they take from you over the telephone helps us to match you to the most appropriate therapist within the team.

What happens after I have been referred?

All referrals are discussed with our Adult Services Clinical Lead, who makes the decision about who to allocate you to. We always try to allocate clients to the therapist in the team that has the right expertise to offer both the initial assessment, and ongoing therapy, if you choose to go ahead.

Our referrals team will then get back in touch with you and offer an initial assessment date. On occasion, our Adult Services Lead will request a one-off, free of charge telephone consultation with you before you are allocated to a therapist. This happens when we need a little more information in order to match you to the right therapist, and is nothing to worry about.

What happens in an initial assessment?

When you arrive at Beacon House, you will be welcomed by a member of our team and shown into our comfortable waiting room. You will be offered a hot drink, and you are welcome to help yourself to water and healthy snacks. Your therapist will collect you from the waiting room at the time of your appointment.

Our standard assessment is one hour long. Many people are concerned that they are going to be asked to speak in detail about very difficult and distressing matters, having only just met their therapist. We acknowledge the courage that it takes for people to walk through our front door, and our priority is keeping you safe while you are here. Your initial assessment helps us to get an overview of what is troubling you, and it is not necessary for you to make yourself feel vulnerable by sharing more information than you feel ready to. Alternatively, you may have been needing to speak to someone for a long time, and you might want to tell your story in full at your first meeting with us. We will adapt to what you need.

Our initial assessment aims to:

  1. Understand the nature of your difficulties
  2. Explore any concerns about safety
  3. Develop a therapeutic understanding of the problem (known as a ‘formulation’)
  4. Make recommendations for a therapeutic treatment plan

Adults have told us that our assessments often shed new light on the problems they have brought to us, which can create change and hope early on in our work with them. We see the assessment as the start of treatment, because understanding the difficulties is always the first step towards healing.

What happens after the assessment?

You will be provided with an assessment letter within two weeks of the assessment appointment. This letter will include our formulation, and recommendations for the type of therapeutic intervention that we think would be most helpful. If you give us consent, this letter can be shared with your GP, and any other professionals involved.

Some people decide on the day of their assessment that they would like to go ahead with therapy. Others want to wait until they receive their letter and have had a chance to read through the recommendations. Importantly, there is no obligation to go ahead with therapy at Beacon House when you come for an assessment here.

Your recommendations will include one or more of the following therapeutic interventions:

 How will my progress be reviewed?

Therapeutic progress is something which is continually reviewed throughout your therapy. During the assessment, your therapist will make a plan with you about how many sessions should take place before a more formal ‘pause and review’ appointment is offered. Alongside this, we have three main ways that we evaluate your therapeutic progress:

  1. During your assessment, you will be asked to fill out a number of questionnaires, which will be re-administered at the end of the therapy.
  2. At the start of each piece of work, you will be asked to identify three therapeutic goals, and scale them to show us how well you feel you are achieving those goals. We will review your goals and your scaling at the end of therapy.
  3. At the end of therapy, you will be asked to tell us how satisfied you feel with your experience of coming to Beacon House and whether you feel the difficulties that you came here for are now better.

What do our adult clients say about Beacon House?

We understand that taking that step towards asking for help takes courage. We also understand that it can feel like a step into the unknown. Take a browse through our Testimonials where you can read what other clients have said about their journey through therapy here at Beacon House.

Get in touch

Get in touch today to find out more.

We have clinics in Cuckfield and in Chichester.

Please note: We are not able to accept any walk-ins. All meetings are by appointment only. Office hours are: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

To ask any questions, please contact us on admin@beaconhouse.org.uk