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Italian visitors share practice experience with York mental health provider

An Italian mental health team is in York this week sharing best practice and learning with independent mental health provider The Retreat. Consultant psychiatrist and group analyst, Aldo Lombardo, clinical psychologist, Daniel Isopo and occupational therapist Barbara Sartini from the Ramond Gledhill Therapeutic Community in Rome are currently visiting The Retreat in York.

The team will be talking to patients and staff at The Retreat throughout the week-long visit and is particularly interested in The Retreat’s own therapeutic community treatment programme.

The Retreat – a not-for-profit specialist mental health provider – runs one of only four remaining residential therapeutic community treatment programmes for people with mental health problems outside a forensic setting in the UK.

The Retreat’s Acorn Programme is a therapeutic community which treats people with personality disorders. It is a group programme with an integrative model of treatment using a combination of group and individual work, including dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and psychoanalytic therapies. People stay up to one year on the programme.

The 10-bedded unit cares for people who have borderline personality disorders – people who have difficulties managing their feelings and their relationships, who are impulsive and commonly use self-harm to help them cope. They may have difficulty holding on to a sense of reality at times, and have an impaired sense of identity. A subgroup of these patients have difficulties with eating.