What is the Maya Centre?
The Maya Centre provides free psychodynamic counselling and group psychotherapy for women on low incomes living in Islington.
We run projects to provide counselling for refugees and asylum-seekers, for Irish women, older women and women affected by domestic violence.
We provide counselling in six languages: English, French, Farsi, Turkish, Sylheti, Bangladeshi, Spanish and Portuguese. We undertake outreach and educational work on issues relating to women’s mental health.
Who can apply for counselling?
The Maya Centre provides free counselling to women who:
- have an annual income of less than £10,000 (£15,000 with dependants)
- have not had the opportunity to study at degree level
- have no prior experience of counselling.
- live or work in Islington
- refugees are accepted from other London boroughs
We aim to offer counselling to women whom otherwise may not be able to access this service elsewhere.
The NAPT Quality Improvement Awards
The National Audit of Psychological Therapies (NAPT) launched a national audit prize in order to recognise the quality improvement work carried out by services since the publication of their first report in 2011. Prizes were presented at the New Savoy Partnership Psychological Therapies in the NHS Conferences on the 29th of November 2012.
Clinical Director Anita Gould collecting the awards for the Maya Centre
The Maya Centre won an award for:
- Learning from the feedback provided by NAPT and follow up on recommendations.
- Overall, good evidence of positive steps to improve service quality in the context of a small voluntary sector service setting.
- Good response to Service User feedback.
- Showing clear targets and interventions aimed at improving service quality.
The importance of the provision of psychological therapy services has received increasing attention over recent years and continues to do so. In 2004, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as the most effective treatment for a large amount of common mental health difficulties.
In 2008 the government launched the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme with the aim to support services to ensure improved access to talking therapies as recommended by NICE guidelines.
Whilst access to CBT and short term counselling was improved in parts of the NHS, in most part there was a vast reduction in long term psychodynamic psychotherapy and counselling. Evidence and arguments began to emerge that suggested CBT may not be as effective as initially thought and that being cheap, quick and simplistic CBT naturally appeals to the government.
These growing tensions and the recognition of the importance of psychological therapy, led the Department of Health, and the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to request the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) to conduct a National Audit of Psychological Therapies.
The remit of NAPT Audit was to provide the first comprehensive measurement of NHS-funded services providing psychological therapies for people with anxiety and depression in England and Wales. The first Audit was conducted in 2010-11, and has been open to all NHS-funded services which provide psychological therapies in the community.
For The Maya Centre taking part in the NAPT was not only about our commitment to our NHS funders, but an opportunity to assess our service and to take an active part in the growing changes in mental health services. The Maya Centre has a long tradition of speaking out for our clients mental health needs, and we felt taking part in the NAPT would give us a voice about the necessity of long term psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy for individuals whose mental health needs fall outside of the NICE guidelines for service provision and clinical choice.
The Maya Centre was able to listen to its clients and show determination in improving service quality in line with clients’ needs and the NAPT recommendations, and within a psychodynamic framework. We will endeavour to improve and expand our service in line with new developments to show that long term psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy services are possible and more importantly they are essential for people suffering from depression and anxiety with complex social and personal circumstances.
More information can be found at www.rcpsych.ac.uk