Nowadays, we often hear that working within a team is an essential requirement in the workplace. Sometimes, during an interview you are asked whether you prefer working independently or within a team. Although being able to work independently can be considered as a positive quality, working with other people is inevitable. Depending on the working environment, teams can have different functions and roles.
There are several advantages of teams in the workplace. Each individual within the team presents with a set of diverse skills and knowledge. This enriches the working environment since everyone can learn from each other to discover new approaches and different ways of working. Different team members can also motivate each other and be supportive during challenging times or whilst performing difficult tasks.
In the biopsychosocial context, a common type of team is the multidisciplinary one. This means that different professionals within their area of expertise work together within the same team to achieve a common goal. An example of a multidisciplinary team is the “Willingness Team”. Professionals from different fields make up this team some of which include: counsellors (some are specialised in sex and relationships), psychologist, career guidance practitioner, family therapist, psychotherapist and life coach. The aim of this team is to provide clients with an opportunity to reflect, explore and grow thus helping them with different issues they may be encountering in their life. To understand better what the client needs and to identify the best professional who can help them, an initial assessment is held during a process called triage.
The Willingness Team professionals view their clients holistically. Thus, it can happen that when a professional is working with a client, they realise that the client is experiencing other difficulties which the professional feels limited in the support he or she can offer regarding that specific issue. In these cases, with the client’s permission, the professional can either consult with other team members or involve directly the other professionals. For example, whilst working with a child, the professional may notice that the dynamics created between the parents and the child are what is causing the child’s distress. Thus, the family therapist may work with the family whilst the child psychologist may continue to work individually with the child.
In conclusion, working within a multidisciplinary team provides an opportunity for personal and professional growth from which ultimately both the professional and the client will benefit. Openness, responsibility and consistency are some of the values which enable the team members to develop together and to provide the best possible service to clients.
Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.