It’s the taking stock time of year isn’t it? It feels especially important to review, plan, and hope this year, so here goes. Over the last few months some of you have sent messages and told me what it felt like to find this blog; Excited, relieved, seen, understood, recognised and connected. Some of you want to train, some of you have had a tough time, some of you are dedicated to low intensity work and exploding with passion and ideas. Working in an IAPT team can be like living on an island in an archipelago; you know there are hundreds of other islands out there, all full of people who have probably got ideas that would make your life easier, and there’s no way to talk to them. A deep frustration for me over the last decade has been how difficult it was to speak to practitioners from other parts of the country (or even in my own team sometimes!) and share ideas about what works and swap stories of our experience. Starting the blog was essentially standing on a beach with a megaphone shouting ‘Hellooooo?’ across the waves. This is never going to be an internet giant but a lot of people visit the site every month now. There have been more than 20,000 visitors in 2020. Well, I guess there wasn’t much to do except browse the internet, but that’s quite a few islands who could talk to each other!
I’ve got to the point where I can’t do much more with the time and resources that I’ve got on my own, and there’s plenty more that I’d like to do! Because talking about this work and connecting low intensity practitioners with each other matters to me I’ve decided to ask for some support. I have set up a ‘Buy me a Coffee’ account. If you want to support the blog and be a partner in expanding the site, you can.
Whatever happens I’ll keep writing for as long as I’ve got ideas. I’ll keep working with anyone who contacts me to amplify their voice on the site, answer questions, geek out together; none of that will change. I’ve brought some space on a new website host and will move the blog across sometime over the next few weeks. Then there will be a couple of weeks when I frantically learn how to use all of the bits of WordPress that I haven’t played with before. Then there are a few things that I’ve daydreamed about adding:
- A forum; somewhere unofficial that people who are passionate about low intensity work can talk to each other. The new Facebook page might be where some of those conversations happen but not everyone has a Facebook profile, or wants to use it for work. So a forum might be an option.
- Support for applicants This is the topic that most people contact me about: what’s the process of applying for training like? What are services and training providers looking for? What’s likely to come up at interview? Is this the right choice or would research or AP be better? It’s obvious on social media that there are lots of qualified current and ex IAPT folks who’d like to offer support. The blog account is just an obvious one to DM. After doing a few ad-hoc zoom chats and Twitter DM exchanges I think there’s scope for a regular Q&A where trainee applicants can talk to any experienced low intensity practitioner who wants to pitch in?
- Resources I’d like to dedicate a space that keeps track of where the best low intensity resources are on the web. Get some links up to good quality translated materials (if there are any!), link to the key reading for trainees and people who want to refresh on theory. I’ve written substantial amounts of self-help material over the years, with more to come, and some of that might be share-able. It could be a space for all of us to get feedback on material and share what works (with permission from the intellectual property rights owners of course).
- Host space for other initiatives I’ve pretty much decided to offer this anyway but I could do it more effectively with your support. There’s some exciting stuff happening; grassroots work that could have a real effect on wellbeing and effectiveness. When you start a new voluntary initiative a dedicated website can be a big ask, so I want to be able to offer website pages and potentially (again, if you can support) forum space for other people to build their ideas.
- Pay the guest bloggers. Some of the most popular posts on the site were not written by me, they were written by dedicated, experienced, talented people who were willing to share their expertise. One of my personal values is that work should be rewarded and it’s eating me up that all I’ve been able to offer so far is a heartfelt ‘thank you’. If you can share some resources we can say thank you in a tangible way to low intensity workers who dedicated time, skill and passion to share their ideas.
- A podcast/vlog thingy This is the stretch goal but in the interests of getting low intensity people talking to each other across the divides of time and space a podcast or vlog is the obvious way to go isn’t it? I’ve got some interested and interesting friends who might be willing to give it a go, we just need support from you to make it happen.
As you can see, I’ve got a few ideas, and I’d be excited to hear from people who visit the site regularly; What do you want to see? What do we need? Get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments here, or use the Contact form that’s in the menu.
Thanks in advance and happy new year,