Insights & opinion

Portobello Behavioural Health - A Year in Review

The PBH team reflects on a year of great change and success in 2023

December 21, 2023

As the year draws to a close one inevitably reflects on the previous 12 months. The challenges of mental health seem as acute today as ever. Part of that is a hangover from the lockdown periods; part from the economic situation and part from the unstable world events we are seeing. There is also a shift in the way we see mental health, a greater awareness and, dare I say, a de-stigmatisation occurring which is very welcome. It is patently clear that there are not nearly enough government funded services operating in order to meet the demand and I sincerely hope this changes. It is very encouraging to see a continual increase in new private sector offerings which you can only hope will be able to lessen the burden on the statutory sector and it has been a real pleasure to get to know new professionals and organisations entering the field. I have no doubt 2024 will see many more doing the same.

We hope that we contribute in a small way to this and again have grown the size and offering at PBH.

None of this would be possible without the clients who grant us the privilege of being part of their journey, the colleagues in the field, at home and abroad, who refer and work alongside us with clients and their families or the incredible team who work at PBH.

This is a tough field to work in. It can be stressful and draining and at times quite isolating. The inception of PBH was to create a collaborative and holistic team to better support clients and ourselves as practitioners. We keep growing and adding more physical spaces for this to happen, so if you think of anyway we can better support you in 2024 then drop us a line or pop into the offices for a coffee and a chat. ‘Till then, I leave our great team to update you on their areas of expertise below and wish you all a very festive and restful close to 2023.


Therapy - Clare Griffin

It’s been an exciting and busy year for our therapy services team. We’ve certainly made great use of our wonderful new offices and it’s been heartening to witness the increasing connectivity for the team and sense of community that the space has offered. We are delighted to welcome Georgie, our new child and adolescent child and adolescent psychotherapist and also to have Becky join us full time with the hope of increasing our therapeutic offerings for family work and disordered eating clients.

This year we have been proud to offer a variety of workshops for clients and trainings for our therapists and plan to build on this next year. We sponsored the conference, Mindfest in Dorking and a group of us attended the four day Master Series International Trauma conference in Oxford listening to renowned speakers and learning about ground breaking research into Polyvagal theories (which is something we are planning to offer next year). Our podcast The Journey Home hosted by Matthew has been a huge success, hearing from a diverse range of clinicians and other professionals. Overall, a truly exciting year and we look forward to the privilege of supporting more clients and providing another year for development and learning for our skilled therapy team in 2024.

Case management - Victoria Grant

2023 has been a great year for the case management team. Moving into our new office in March has been amazing. It has been fantastic to easily collaborate with the therapy and coaching teams. Therapists and coaches popping in to see us in between sessions has helped us get to know them better, the whole team being in one place means working systemically to set up plans to individuals and families dealing with different behavioural health challenges has been smoother and much more enjoyable face to face. 

We love working with therapists and coaches to give clients truly integrated support. The coaches do extraordinary on-the-ground work giving us the ability to update the therapists on how the client is in their life. The therapist can work their magic with the benefit of knowing how their client is coping with challenges in real time. 

We also work and are supported by a huge variety of excellent professionals in the field to whom we look to for their oversight and expertise. It’s been a real pleasure refining this process so we get to spend more time collaborating with our clinical colleagues outside of PBH.

We loved meeting professionals, learning more about different treatment modalities and new centres at various events, including Nick Hazell's Forums and The Master Series.

Coaching - Jaz Dalrymple

We have had a busy year in the coaching department. We continue to broaden the scope of situations in which coaching is being sought by clients and clinicians which is at once challenging and exciting. Over the course of the year our coaches have provided more than 20,000 hours of care to our clients - in that sense it really has been remarkable. 

With further restrictions having been lifted we have been able to provide safe transport for people to more places globally.

After years of development we are so pleased to have launched the coach training programme and have had our first cohorts go through and so far with excellent reports back on their assessment of the content. We are very excited that this will be able to provide more structure, direction and safety to coaches and that this in turn will improve the quality of the service delivered to clients.

Building & Operations - Nicolay Sorensen

To say that the last 12 months have flown by would be an understatement. Such has been the speed of change since last January it feels like we haven’t had a chance to catch our breath.  There is much to celebrate and, as ever, plenty of lessons to learn. We have been delighted to move into our fancy new offices at 140 Holland Park Avenue. Having worked out of a charming, but quite cramped, basement office in Notting HIll for a number of years we had started to burst at the seams. We now have more therapy rooms, a group room and office space for our growing case management and coaching team.

We’ve nearly finished refurbishing a new office in Guildford too and while not as big will give us more therapy space and a room for groups.. As we already work with a number of clients in Surrey this was the logical place to open a second office. 

As a business we have managed to help more people than ever and have worked with more than 270 new clients this year. The good news is that our two new offices have hopefully given us enough space to accommodate even more new clients in 2024. 

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