Extract from Pamela’s Talk at the Offender Care Conference

Exploring Therapeutic interventions in secure settings

CNWL cemenoffender care trustnetted its position as a leader in the field of Offender Healthcare during a conference at Chelsea Football Club on therapeutic interventions in secure settings.

The daylong event, at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge, had 11 speakers about a variety of topics around the theme.

Pamela Stewart runs a weekly therapy group for pregnant women and mothers with babies, in prison. In only ten minutes she set out a very compelling case for the work. Her speech, which can be downloaded here CNWL Dec 2015 Final, ends with:

“One of the many things I love about working as a psychotherapist in prisons is the opportunity to work with many women who would not come within a million miles of a psychotherapist.  After 25 years I feel more strongly than ever that psychotherapy is relevant and useful to a wide variety of people, and definitely has a wider reach than to the often maligned worried well.

“Psychotherapy is a long and slow process, hard to evaluate and difficult at times to champion.   Relationships take time to develop and I hope the opportunity for long term psychotherapy in prisons will not be compromised by the closure of HMP Holloway where so much excellent work is carried out by colleagues.

“Perhaps it is fitting to leave the last word to one of my current psychotherapy patients, a 25 year old woman in for attacking with a knife.  We have worked together for 9 months and will continue meeting weekly until her release in the Spring 2016.

“One of the positives I can take from the time I have spent in prison is my therapy sessions. Therapy is something I always thought was a complete waste of time, a load of rubbish. I dreaded every Tuesday afternoon.  I now feel very differently. Something has clicked into place.  I want to go to my sessions. I am beginning to understand myself.  I have spent my life in vicious circles. I am now in a very different place and for me therapy has been life changing. I am very thankful for having the opportunity to access the help and support I have received.”

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