Category Archives: Podcast Interviews

Podcast Episode 053: Anne Clilverd Interview ~ Pets as Therapy

Full faceIn this interview Anne Clilverd talks about the important therapeutic value that pets provide for their owners and for others. They offer a remarkable range of functions that can help people across all age groups. She also talks briefly about her work with the Pets as Therapy charity.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 049: Anne Clilverd Interview ~ Team-Working

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2An interview with Anne Clilverd as she reflects back on three specific teams to identify what elements contribute to good team-working.

An acute admissions ward where, despite being based on a hierarchy, a strong sense of belonging was fostered. The environment was supportive through all staff being encouraged to contribute their observations in a way that was respected by multidisciplinary colleagues.

Compass as a walk-in advice and mental health centre also offering a degree of outreach work as a new initiative at a time when long-stay hospitals were beginning to be closed down. This initiative was joint funded and managed by health and social care, operating as a small multidisciplinary team of four people committed to a strong set of values and principles. As a group the workers need to feel confident to have their ideas openly and constructively critiqued; and they were supported by an advisory group that included several service users and representatives of local voluntary sector services.

As team manager Anne worked in the Kings cross Community Mental Health Team. This type of team functions as a group of individuals who come together for a common purpose, but belonging may be more to the team name than a sense of full collective working. The team manager carries the specific responsibility to stamp a personality on the team through a vision for common goals and purpose, and the quality of supervision as a means for encouraging reflection and professional/personal development.

Anne also briefly reflects on the optimal size of good functioning teams. For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 047: Anne Clilverd Interview ~ Narrative Therapy

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2This episode is the first part of an interview with Anne Clilverd, formerly Team Manager of the Kings Cross Community Mental Health Team in London. In this discussion Anne reflects on where she first became aware of Narrative Therapy, how she followed through the specific training faciltated by Michael White, and some of the challenges of embedding it into her primary work role in a community service.

The concept of the ‘outsider witness’ as a distinct function within Narrative Therapy is explored in relation to the therapeutic role offered with clients. Specific reference is made to use of the therapeutic approach in locally designed ‘Mental Health Matters’ workshops, where a client, carer and practitioner are able to work together in supporting people to tell and analyse their own story. The role of family and cultural values are able to be honoured as an element that can emerge through a workshop style of approach to embedding the ideas of Narrative Therapy.

The approach can also be shared and adapted through staff supervision with practitioners open and interested in developing the ideas into their practice, and for exploring how they are functioning in the practitioner role.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 042: Suicide Risk (Interview case example)

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2This episode is an interview with Satsanga (Lawrence Borish) reflecting on a case example of Alice, who he worked with whilst on a family counselling placement in his Masters Degree Social Work training in the US back in 1968. The placement was focused on cultural awareness, and the specific referral emerged through neighbourly concern for a woman whose behaviour and appearance was deteriorating. However, on engaging Alice, Satsanga discusses how, as a young inexperienced social worker, he is suddenly presented with an expression of suicidal ideas.

How we respond to these immediate circumstances can have a heavy bearing on the future life of another person. The interview explores issues of engagement of trusting working relationships, working with instinct, exploration of genuine alternatives to suicide, genuine collaboration between a person and a worker… all of which are important components of the process of ‘positive risk-taking’. The discussion raises thoughts about how we are supported, or not, to make difficult decisions; and could a decision-making process from a bygone era remain relevant today?

For the full content of this episode click on iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 039: Team-working with Kirt Hunte

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Steve Morgan in conversation with Kirt Hunte about what contributes to good team-working. We frequently make a claim to be a team but function more as a group of individuals.

What influence does the team manager or team leader have on the identity and function of the team? Can a talented group of individuals simply come together as a great team? Does the size of the team have any affect on its ability to function as a team?

The creativity and risk-taking required for developing a new initiative is very different from the long term sustainability of an established team or service. Kirt and Steve reflect on football teams and mental health teams through their observations and experiences over many years. Reference is also made to the book entitled ‘Organizing Genius’ by Warren Bennis and Patricia Biederman describing and analysing seven case studies of great teams.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):


Tables turned

Steve @ Hydra 2Well, it was only a matter of time. Your host and occasional interviewer was recently approached by Nicola Cairncross, who runs the Business Success Factory podcast show. So, who am I to turn down the possibility of being interviewed by a successful business source?

Here I discuss a little bit about my career falling into and out of things, and why I focus on a strengths perspective in my own work. Nicola is also interested in business success and money success tips, though why ask me about such things I have no idea… certainly not because I am coming to you weekly from a sun-drenched tax haven in a particularly exotic part of the world (don’t be fooled by the background in the picture above!).

Click on the following links to hear the full interview:

“What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.” [Robin Williams].


Podcast Episode 029: Toby Williamson Interview Part 2

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2In conversation with Toby Williamson regarding his role in the Mental Health Foundation focused on Later Life. Services for older people are traditionally looked on negatively, particularly dementia.

In this episode Toby reflects on the positives of how we are living longer, and the majority of people, even those ‘living with dementia’, are experiencing a good quality of life. Mental health problems are not a necessary companion of growing older, and even the comparative cognitive decline can be adapted to. We can develop more of our own protective factors by planning more for an active retirement.

Two-thirds of people living with dementia do so in their own homes, and the Dementia Friendly Communities and Age Friendly Cities initiatives are two of the many positive developments contributing to the better wellbeing of older people. The challenge for service providers is to attract more excellent practitioners to see the exciting challenges and opportunities offered by working in these services. The lack of cure or effective medical treatments opens the door to a range of other exciting therapeutic opportunities for supporting people and their informal carers. Finally, we should also do more to tap into the ‘care capital’ potential of baby boomers retiring with experience and a commitment to contribute back to society.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 028: Toby Williamson Interview Part 1

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Toby Williamson works for the UK Mental Health Foundation in the role of Head of Development & Later Life, and is extensively published particularly around the subjects of Values and Mental Capacity. Here he talks about what we mean by ‘values’ in mental health practice, borrowing a phrase from Professor Bill Fulford who describes them as ‘action guiding words’.

He explores the importance of values diversity, reflected particularly in the expectations of how we set up multidisciplinary teams. Toby draws on examples from his previous role managing Impact, an assertive outreach team developed in the voluntary sector services run by Mind in Hammersmith & Fulham (west London).

Toby and Steve also reflect on the conflict between person-centred values upheld by the majority of public service practitioners, and the commercial values slowly creeping into UK public services in recent years.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 026: Boys will banter

cropped-steve-on-maid-of-the-mist.jpgKirt Hunte talks about his passions for Liverpool Football Club, playing Sunday league football, and cricket.

A jokey conversation with Steve Morgan (pictured above prepared for anything that is thrown at him!), but with the important final message that we should enjoy what we love, love what we enjoy, and instill passion into that which excites us. Not forgetting to drink good red wine in celebration!

For the full content of this episode click on the links for iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

Podcast Episode 025: Kirt Hunte Interview

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Kirt Hunte discusses his early introduction to the nursing profession growing up in Trinidad, before making the move to Guy’s Hospital in London. He reflects on a few important influences in those formative professional years before he developed his specialist interest in acute mental health care and the provision of crisis response and resolution teams.

He initiated the South Camden Crisis Team in 2001 and managed it through to 2011, and is in a good position to reflect on the qualities of a good team as well as its individual practitioners. Kirt identifies the support and development of new workers as one of many rewards of team management, as well as his rare combination of bringing gestalt psychotherapeutic skills and experience into the arena of short-term crisis working.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):