OVERVIEW OF THE CORE VALUES AND SUPPORT TOOLS USED BY PSL FAMILY SUPPORT WORKERS AND VOLUNTEER SUPPORT WORKERS

Empathy: The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Empathy is the thread that connects us to other humans. When empathy is used in everyday life, it makes us feel more connected to one another. And when we feel connected to those around us, we are better, more compassionate people.

Person centred approach: The personcentred approach is based on the theory and philosophy of Dr Carl Rogers. It is a non-directive approach to being with another; that believes in the other’s potential and ability to make the right choices for them self, regardless of the therapist’s own values, beliefs and ideas. Person-centred therapy – also known as person-centred counselling or client-centred counselling – is a humanistic approach that deals with the ways in which individuals perceive themselves consciously rather than how a counsellor can interpret their unconscious thoughts or ideas

Basic counselling skills: These basic skills include the patterns of sessions, active listening, body language, tone, open ended and closed questions, paraphrasing, summarising, note taking and homework. This includes Active Listening skills: Active listening happens when you “listen for meaning”. The listener says very little but conveys empathy, acceptance and genuineness. The listener only speaks to find out if a statement (or two or twenty) has been correctly heard and understood.

Motivational Interviewing:  is a collaborative rather than prescriptive approach to communicating with adults and has been proven to be an effective communication tool.

Solution Focused approach: the practitioner’s task is to discover whatever a person is already doing which might contribute to the resolution of the problem with which they have come. It is a competency-based model, which minimizes emphasis on past failings and problems, and instead focuses on clients’ strengths and previous successes.

 The 5- step programme: The 5-Step Method helps affected family members where they have loved ones with addiction problems. It is one of the few methods that helps gives support to family member for themselves in their own right rather than being solely supporters for their loved one.
It is grounded in rigorous research and has a clear theoretical model (the Stress-Strain-Coping-Support model) which underpins the intervention. The approach is both simple and effective in filling a gap that exists for family support. Practitioners in a range of services who work with family members can use the 5-Step Method once they have been trained.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty. ACT develops psychological flexibility and is a form of behavioural therapy that combines mindfulness skills with the practice of self-acceptance.

A systemic approach to whole family work: Systemic Family support is sometimes called “talking therapy”. It is called “Systemic” because it is for people in all kinds of group

Relationships or ‘systems’ and in this case because it is for people in families, it is

Called “Systemic Family Support”


Our workers will use the most appropriate tool or method for the family they are working with. Their skills, knowledge and experience come together to provide the best service possible. We are continually reviewing and revising our practice and pride ourselves on being truly reflective practitioners

Christine & Rhona

“I have lived with a drug user in my home for many years and walked around thinking that this was just life, until I finally took the biggest step and made contact with PSL who showed me there was another life out there, My Life.

You have supported and cared and never once judged or pointed the finger.

I owe you so much Thank you to everyone at PSL! My life is finally moving forward.“