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SOLAR Self-Organised Living And Reflecting

Region: East England


SOLAR SEMINARS: The S.O.L.A.R. (Self Organised Living And Reflecting) SYSTEM: involves anything that may help people to think about and organise their own lives in such a way as to maximise their potential.

Emerging from information presented by clients, SOLAR acquired and developed a number of concepts, mini-models and measuring tools which helped to formulate a simple yet solid foundation for people to begin to think about dysfunctional aspects of their emotion and cognition.

These concepts create a cohesive framework designed to help people with problems of personality to turn themselves around and make their future lives more functional.

Constructive Conversations: are described as ‘a specific type of self-generated, reflective conversational process’. Hutton J.S.(1993 & 1998 – p10)

It teaches and encourages people to take control of their own emotions, cognition and learning by asking their own questions and by generating their own answers. The effect is that individuals restructure their cognitive processes and begin to control their emotional, social and cognitive lives in a more functional way to suit themselves and their situations. They develop aims, strategies, plans and survival techniques that enable them to become less dysfunctional and more functional in their lives.

This is a ‘base-upwards’ approach which manifests the essence and reality of a ‘client-centred’ service. Linear Progressive Analysis: allows for analysing Constructive Conversations in such a way as to be immediately useful to clients as well as systematically providing material for further, more academic research at a later date.

Service Type: Specialist Mental Health Services

Service Status: Statutory

Service Payment Type: Free

Project Highlights/Achievements:

1. The HPT project has been going for approximately 5 years and has introduced and guided many people through the process of moving from being emotionally chaotic and unstable towards taking control of their own thinking and their own lives.

2. SOLAR & Constructive Conversations is a practical approach with a logical framework designed to help participants systematically analyse their thinking as well as change the strategies and structure of their thinking processes. This leads to different attitudes, motivatyion and ultimately different behaviour.

3. Feedback from people who utilise this approach has been very positive in the short, medium and the long-term.

Who can use your service?: At present this service is available to people who have been referred via the Herts partnership Trust Mental Health services.

The seminars take place at Hatfield and Stevenage so there is sometimes a geographical restriction on people who can viably attend.

Stuart Hutton also does some private work but this is severely restricted by time and availability and he prefers that people be referred via the public (free) services.

Access: Referral

Catchment Area: Hatfield / Stevenage and surrounds.

How are Service Users (and their Carers) involved in this service?:

Very active participation in the process. At present they are seeking to expand the services by influencing and pressurising the commissioning authorities to explore similar provisions to that provided by The Haven Colchester so that the SOLAR & Constructive Conversations can be an integral facet of a more comprehensive provision.

Values: Self-Organised Living & Reflecting; ( freedom \'v\' slavery) The \'Recovery\' model; The \'exploratory model ( George Kelly\'s -man the scientist\') Research based

Equality of Opportunity: This approach is base upwards; client centred; and based on the "as, if and when they want it" principle. Everyone has equal opportunities according to their needs and abilities.

Service Offered (Service Users):

1. Intial introduction to the approach, philosophy and techniques.

2. Assessment as to suitability for the service

3. Some 1 to 1 work with a view to inclusion in the SOLAR \'seminars\'

Service Offered (Carers and Families):

1. Some training and support for carers and families is also given. They are encouraged to take part in the educational process of SOLAR.

Lead Commissioner: Herts Partnership Trust. Hatfield CMHT

Practice Based Outcomes: This service is in the process of being evaluated for outcomes What can be said at present is that it is received very well by participants and it is very useful for professionals to be able to offer a service the makes sense to both themselves and their \'clients\'.

System Based Outcomes: To be completed at a later date