In the context of mental health, a multidisciplinary team is a group of professionals working together to ensure a better outcome for the client. The team is usually composed of different professionals, possessing a variety of skills. This diversity benefits the service users and professionals working in the field and ensures continuity of care and proper follow up. Research does indicate that when a multidisciplinary team functions well, it enhances the job satisfaction for the team members, helps provide an atmosphere of mutual support and opportunities for continuous professional development (Lumenta et al., 2019; Korner, 2010).
At Willingness we see the benefits of a multidisciplinary team approach on a regular basis. Whether it is a working on case review, planning a presentation, a conference or discussing a subject on the media, working with other team members gives us a different perspective of the situation at hand. The team is made up of counsellors, some of which specialise in sex and relationships, family therapist, psychotherapist, psychologist, career guidance practitioner and life coach. We also have a number of psychology and social work graduates who carry out a brilliant job in sex education, triage and intake management, event organisation and child minding. The richness of knowledge and experience that each professional brings to the table is invaluable. It gives us the opportunity to see different facets of the same reality which is evidence- based and informed by experience. Moreover, we can tap into each other expertise if the need arises. For example, if a professional is seeing a couple currently experiencing sexual and relational problems and observes, during the course of treatment that the children in this family are distressed because of parental conflict help is at hand. With the clients’ permission discussions are held (usually during a case review) on how the children can be supported during this situation. Maybe they can benefit from the help of a family therapist or a child psychologist. Maybe, the school needs to be contacted and support is found there. Maybe the parents need to develop skills in conflict management that will help the children feel safe and loved. The options, ideas and insights are usually endless…
No one professional can do all this work alone. In my experience (and literature does corroborate this) not any one theoretical working framework prepares you to see the whole picture in mental health. I feel that working in a team is an extremely enriching experience that benefits both clients and professionals involved.
Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on email@example.com or call us on 79291817.