The Acorn Unit is a therapeutic environment for women meeting the criteria for:
We are incredibly proud of The Acorn Programme which was first accredited as a Therapeutic Community by the Royal College of Psychiatrists through the Community of Communities in 2007 and of the hard work and progress made by the clients who have graduated. We were also winner of the Specialist Provider of the Year at the 2014 Independent Healthcare Apex Awards.
We continue to work successfully with women who have recurring, acute inpatient admissions or self-defeating behaviours that result in chaotic lifestyles.
The aim of a Therapeutic Environment is to provide a safe environment that enpowers women to work together to manage their distress and enable them to embark upon a more stable and meaningful life in the community. We have a strong focus on occupational engagement and are proud to support and inspire our clients in their pursuit of meaningful occupation.
An important part of the treatment is for women to share their daily life with others and to take responsibility for sharing decisions about how to live together. Our staff set the overall structure of the programme, clients are asked to contribute to keeping the treatment safe and therapeutic, both by acting responsibly themselves and by helping others think about the effect of their behaviour on the unit.
We encourage a ‘culture of enquiry’ in which everyone can question the conduct of any other individual or group of individuals, psychological processes (‘I wonder what made you do that’), and managerial issues. Such questioning is an important learning opportunity, for those asking the questions and for those questioned.
Everything that happens in the community is open for discussion. We have a principle: ‘if you have a secret, you have a problem’. For many people the letting go of the need to keep parts of their lives hidden is a major part of their therapy.
Most of the structured work of the group is built around developing strategies and skills to handle the demands of daily life, using a plan of treatment called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) particularly recommends DBT for women with BPD who want to reduce self-harming and suicidality.
We treat the person not the diagnosis and our mantra is simple: Turn up, Tune in and Tell the Truth.
On arrival at Acorn our clients start an important journey that will last 8 to 12 months. During their time with us they will acquire the skills they need to live in the community and manage their distress so they are able to engage in a meaningful life worth living.
This is achieved by:
The team includes registered mental health nurses, a Consultant Psychiatrist, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and an Occupational Therapist, as well as input from other professionals such as a Social Worker, an Involvement Worker, a Dietitian, and sessional therapists for art and other creative therapies. The team members are all trained in DBT to varying levels and are experienced in working therapeutically with this client group.
For further information or to make a referral please call Amy Bedingham on 01904 420910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.