From Poop to Porn, a job title update

Not an actual blog post this week; Not a Guru has been poorly and feels like a smeared banana so instead of risking a delirious, feverish rant about something really important here’s a quick thought on our job title to keep things ticking over until next week.  

I tweeted this but just in case you missed it: I’m going to stop talking about PWPs (Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners) and start talking about Low Intensity Therapists (LITs).

This is partly because of what I wrote in The IAPT Glossary Part 1: Whenever I hear my full job title I imagine someone in London, or certainly down south, spitballing ideas onto a flip chart in a meeting to try and impress someone, and everyone in the room being fed up and/or hungover and/or ready for lunch and going – ‘yep that’s good enough, lets eat’. I, and most of my colleagues, can’t stand this job title/name for our emerging profession. It’s twelve syllables for crying out loud. Twelve! How is a patient supposed to make sense of that or remember it? Most of the people in my area have a reading age of 7, they can’t even read my job title. How do you abbreviate it? PWP sounds like ‘poop’ if you try to say it as a word. Or like a baby owl with a speach impediment at best. It’s meaningless and confusing.   

Slightly more generously I can see the sense in combining ‘psychology’ and ‘wellbeing’ in the description for what we do – they are kind of central to the whole gig. I’m sure, in all seriousness, that a lot of thought went into it. I’m just not sure it translates very well into typical English usage in most of the country. Then try helping people to understand what you do in a city with more than 20 spoken languages and you can see my problem.

I’ll quietly confess that I was at the BABCP special event on Low Intensity CBT last week. It was a day-long pre-conference workshop at the BABCP annual conference in Bath. Really good and worthwhile event that I’m sure will creep into the next few posts in one way or another, there was a lot to think about. One of the speakers, Liz Kell, amongst other excellent ideas about how we could mature as a profession, pointed out that the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) appears in England, but Low Intensity Therapists (LIT from now on) are worldwide. Obviously I write about the context in IAPT services in England, and officially my job title is PWP, but hopefully enough of this experience will translate to other Low Intensity settings that using LIT for all of us will make sense. Next we just have to tackle the problems that you get from talking about ‘Low Intensity’, which also came up on that day and I had a good bash at in an earlier post. One thing at a time though.

The real reason why I’m keen to move away from PWP is that PWP is a type of porn and I Just. Can’t. Even… Ugh! I did a Twitter search to see who I should be following and, apart from maybe three people on a long list, everything related to porn. I went to the urban dictionary and, yeah…Just for the record this isn’t about moral judgement about the existence and use of porn, as long as everyone’s consenting adults. I’m just flashing back to all of the appointments where people blushed and stared at my chest for the whole time, and have a better idea of what they might have been thinking about. I didn’t consent to that, and it’s awkward.

So for more than one reason, no more PWP, we are now LITs as far as this blog is concerned (except in the blog title, facebook page and Twitter name, I’m kind of stuck with them) and if that’s got anything to do with porn, never tell me.

In other blog news, I have got a Facebook page now. I usually avoid FB, but about 100 people found their way here from there so I’ve taken the plunge at https://www.facebook.com/notapwpguru/ . It’s another way to get in touch if you want to comment on a post (or write one!!). The next proper blog on supervision is currently two lines long but it is coming soon.

3 thoughts on “From Poop to Porn, a job title update

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s