"Poor Access to Therapy -Unhappy with Care."

About: Six Degrees Social Enterprise (CIC)

(as the patient),

I recently attended 3 assessment appointments offered to me by Six Degrees Social for support for my Social Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks. The first two assessments were really positive, I was as honest as I could possibly be, and the therapist/nurse was really understanding. Unfortunately, on the third occasion, I was unfortunate enough to meet with another therapist that was a different experience. The first thing they explained to me was that this was yet another assessment, except they didn't want to read my notes and form an opinion based on what another therapist had said (which is EXACTLY what they did, and they even confirmed that by writing it in the copy of the patient letter I received).

They declined to accept me into the service, giving reasons which to me sounded absolutely ridiculous - and still do. Essentially I felt they used lies, deception and a mistreatment of my dignity and trust in order to form an opinion which was no different to their colleague. They explained how they were friends with another therapist I saw, and has basically regurgitated the same nonsense as before.

In the end I had never been as offended, and neither had my mother who had been invited into the room. In the end it was my mother, not I, who stood up and expressed her disbelief at how ignorant, rude and poor at her job they were.

How dare they decide that I am suddenly not going to be accepted into the service after three assessments all of which were positive, and they even said themself that I would be "a very good candidate for therapy". Essentially they lied to me, and declined because I have self medicated in the past. Well, I hate to point out the obvious; but for asl ong as somebody is struggling to access the help and support they need- they will do anything and everything they can to avoid depression and panic attacks. Now, for them to suggest that I am some kind of drug addict is absolutely sensational; and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. In five years of begging for support my health has gone downhill only because it is so difficult to access.

What annoyed me the most, is that I had explained to them that in accordance with my doctors agreement, I had stopped the self medicating just to show that I am worse without it. Ultimately, they have doomed me to a cycle of self medicating again; and for that resent this therapist. I have never been so offended, let down and disappointed in my life. how can you deny somebody the help they so desperately need and you say they would be a good candidate for? ! ? I won't swear, but I'm sure you know what I'm thinking. Frustrated is not the word to describe the experience. I won't ever try to access therapy again. They are all really judgemental and do not care. I also failed to appreciate how they thought it was within their rights to decide my end route of care, with absolutely no involvement from myself.

Furthermore, im currently reading over the letter they have sent back to my GP, and I have already highlighted what in my view are 3 or 4 lies and twisted truths which on paper probably do back up their claims (apparently I spend a large sum of money a day self medicating), but I would love to know where they think I get that kind of money from.

It frustrates me how psychologists in my view are so single minded and narrow in their approach and have a really bad case of tunnel vision. To hone in on my self medicating is the complete opposite of what they should have done, especially after saying they wanted to hear from me - and not what the previous therapist wrote. If the support I was receiving was adequate, and I was generally well in myself, and the medications and tablets my doctors gave me worked -- I would not be self medicating.

For as long as my experience of "support" is judgemental and feels horrible then I am sorry but it doesn't take a degree to work out what pattern is going to continue.

Thanks for nothing, and I hope you can learn to stigmatise your patients less in future.

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Response from Chardworth Dhliwayo, Operational Manager, Six Degrees Social Enterprise

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this useful feedback. We are concerned that your experience was initially positive but declined as things moved on. As part of the service we provide, where appropriate, we support people to make use of other services which may offer the most appropriate type of support based on personal circumstances. Based on the information in your posting, it appears that the experience of being transferred to another service has been unhelpful and distressing for you. This is very unfortunate and we want to improve this process. We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to meet with one of our managers to discuss how we may be able to improve this part of the service. Please visit our website at www.six-degrees.org.uk for our contact details.

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