QHow do people get referred to the SWAN Project? AReferrals can be made by GPs, the statutory services, employers, other professional agencies or by the individual. If you would like to self-refer, you can telephone for an assessment appointment on 0117 9892521 or contact our Counselling Services Manager by email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may need to leave a message on the answer phone and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
QWhat age groups do the SWAN Project cater for? AWe work with anyone who is over 16 years of age
QWill there be a long time before clients start in the group? AWe try our best to accommodate new clients into the group as soon as possible after you have engaged in 1:1 therapy.
QAre clients expected to have completely stopped drinking before they are seen? ANO - The SWAN Project will see individuals who are still drinking provided they are not overtly intoxicated when coming to the project. Often individuals find it impossible to come along for help without having a drink or two for courage. If we feel that you have had too much to drink, we will make another assessment appointment for you.
QDo clients have a choice about their drinking goals? AYES - clients are encouraged to make an informed decision about their drinking goal and they will then be supported in achieving and maintaining it. We are happy to work with anyone who wants to control their drinking as well as anyone who wants to be abstinent.
QWhat if an individual relapses during the group programme? AWe acknowledge that there is a difference between a lapse and a relapse. We would only consider that a client had relapsed if they had returned to their original drinking pattern for a long period without contacting the Project. A lapse, on the other hand, can be seen as a part of the Cycle of Change and although it may feel like a step backwards, it can results in learning. The group can be a support which can turn it into a positive experience leading to a re-focusing back to the drinking goal.
QWhat other changes are individuals likely to make? AAs individuals reduce or become abstinent other changes take place. After a short period of time their appetite, sleep patterns and their energy levels return. Clients tend to take more care of their general health and appearance. They begin to feel more confident and start new interests or activities. Life no longer revolves solely around the next drink.
QWhat advantages does the SWAN Project have over a residential rehabilitation centre? AFirst the cost is lower because accommodation is not a factor that needs to be included. Secondly, some people find that although while they are in a residential situation, they are protected from every day stresses, it can be harder when they return to the community. At the SWAN Project, individuals rely on the Project and the group members to deal with these stresses. As group members come from the same locality, it is easier to maintain these friendships and create ongoing personal support networks.
QCan I use just part of the SWAN Project? AYES. If you just want to come to 1:1 counselling, for example, that is fine. Some individuals will find it useful to use the project after a having attended a residential rehabilitation centre. Part of discharge from a rehabilitation centre usually includes having an aftercare plan in place. The SWAN Project can become part of an individual's aftercare and they are able to decide how many sessions to attend and what is needed for them to continue with their own personal change/growth.
QWhat qualifications do the counsellors and facilitators have? AAll the facilitators used on the programme are qualified counsellors/psychotherapists with specialist alcohol training and experience. Some of our counsellors/psychotherapists are in the last years of training and have also attended our addiction specific training at the Project. All the staff members of the project are qualified therapists and have extensive experience, knowledge and understanding of substance misuse and the effects that this has on not just individuals but also their families.
Hannah Duncanhas an Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB) and a Certificate in Counselling Supervision. She is a member of the BACP. Hannah's background has been in development and training and corporate fund-raising. She has taught at Wiltshire college on the introduction to counselling course. She has been working in the field for seven years. She also has a private practice working as a counsellor.