“how to recognise and respond to mental health issues; the collaborative recovery model
(CRM) for people with mental illnesses; and suicide prevention, safe home visitation, child protection and cultural awareness”.
Indeed, Aftercare ensured my attainment of these goals by most generously sponsoring my participation in professional workshops on all these vital topics, as well as affording me a wealth of other opportunities including engaging with clients in face-to-face counselling sessions.The two-day workshop on the collaborative recovery method (CRM) was especially inspirational, as it acquainted me with what appears to be an increasingly internationallyaccepted way of working with people with mental illnesses, largely developed at the
University of Wollongong. Though considerations of space preclude a detailed discussion of the CRM here, in brief it is a „client-led‟, „evidence-based‟, manualised model based on the two guiding principles that recovery is both „individual‟ and „collaborative‟, and consisting of four collaborative components: „change enhancement‟, „identification of values and strengths‟, „visioning and goal-striving‟ and „action and monitoring‟.
Even more fundamental to my personal and professional development than such invaluable learnings, however, is the fact that my placement with Aftercare has enabled me to achieve the over-riding ambition implicit but unstated in my Student Placement Learning and
Supervision Contract, that of overcoming my previous fears of working with people suffering mental illnesses.
In my relative ignorance of mental illnesses following the study of just one module on the subject, I was rendered apprehensive by warnings like that of Meares and Stevenson
(2000) that “the treatment of severe personality disorder is a hazardous business”, and that some helping professionals react so badly to