Hembrigg Park celebrate CG’s graduation!

17th Apr 2019

At Heathcotes Group, seeing our service users move on to a more independent life is always an emotional occasion and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at CG’s graduation ceremony. This occasion marked her completion of a yearlong cycle of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) at Heathcotes Hembrigg Park Specialist Residential Treatment Service. Now that CG has graduated from her treatment at Hembrigg she will be able to move on to a home where she can live with other people with minimal support. 

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Heathcotes Hembrigg Park is a Specialist Residential Service where people can receive treatment for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). The service uses a combination of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, adapted environment and trained staff who are experienced in supporting people with EUPD.

Before moving to Hembrigg CG was struggling to manage her emotions, she needed high levels of staff support and she was not able to live with other people. Her problem behaviours made it difficult for her to maintain residential placements for any length of time.  

Within CG’s first three months we saw a dramatic change in both her emotional state and her physical wellbeing. CG took up gardening and started to speak to staff about her emotions and she started asking for the support she needed.

Within her first six months, CG was able to show her commitment to do her best in therapy, she was able to learn new skills and different ways of coping with emotions and she started to make noticeable changes in the way that she was living her life. The therapy is delivered in two six month cycles, following the completion of her first cycle of therapy CG had a graduation celebration, following this Linda (an advocate who has known CG for Many years) said:

“Attending her graduation was a lovely experience, I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. She was so proud to hear the praise from people congratulating her on her progress and then receiving her certificate of achievement. Having known CG for a long time, from her home town, it was very satisfying to see how she has settled at Hembrigg Park, has made friends and appears to have a good relationship with staff and past and present residents. I love the fact that CG confidently made a speech too – she was very articulate, full of fun and humour and thanked everyone there for their support and ‘putting up with her’! Brilliant!”

Throughout her year at Hembrigg Park CG has developed her skills and her independence, she has been able to have increased access to the community through increasing her unescorted leave. This has been a significant achievement for CG. She has shown an ongoing commitment to the therapy, she has made changes that have greatly improved her ability to manage her emotions and life stresses. CG has blossomed into an independent and vibrant woman with a skill set to help her achieve her goals and aspirations. These include acting as a mentor and role model to others in the home.

CG has now completed her therapy and is ready to move on. Her 12-month DBT graduation ceremony was attended by staff past and present, family and professionals. There were congratulations and speeches all round. On behalf of the specialist clinical team at Hembrigg Park Dr Pete Burbidge said

 “CG has worked really hard over her year in DBT to learn new skills and ways to manage the stresses that we all experience day to day. She has worked with the clinical team, both individually and in group sessions to build her insight and capabilities so that she can continue to progress towards her life worth living. We as a team are immensely proud of how far CG has come and we hope that she will continue to use her skills to further progress and work towards her long-term goals. Massive congratulations CG, you did it!”

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The speech that resonated most of all was from CG’s parents, they talked about how proud they were of the work that CG had done and it included the heartfelt words

we have got our daughter back”

Moments like that remind us that the DBT journey is not only life-changing for our service users, but also for their families too.

CG will soon be stepping down to a less restrictive setting within Heathcotes, where she will continue to build upon her independent living skills; she will receive ongoing support from the psychology team for as long as she requires it. All of us at Hembrigg Park wish her well on the next phase of her journey to recovery.

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