Why a women and girls-only service?
Every year, our work touches the lives of hundreds of women and their families in every part of Leeds.
When women and girls have better mental health and wellbeing, this helps every area of our lives including our parenting, relationships, social life, work life and ability to cope with life’s challenges day-to-day.
Feedback from women tells us that therapy helps vulnerable and marginalised women get better and stay better for longer.
Joanna came for nine sessions of individual therapy at which time she had major difficulties and was twice as likely as someone with ‘normal’ mental health to harm herself or others. After therapy all areas had improved and her risk measures were minimal. “I have returned to work after a long period out of work and my confidence has grown enormously since feeling able to do that.” (name changed for confidentiality)
‘Women’s Mental Health: Into The Mainstream’ from the Department of Health noted that:
‘Gender is a key issue that influences an individual’s experience of the world and therefore gender issues should be incorporated into research, service planning, delivery and evaluation.’ : ‘Reasons for women-only developments include:
- The expressed preferences of women to ensure choice is available.
- Specific gender, cultural or religious needs.
- A safe environment has particular relevance for specific groups, such as those with experience of sexual violence.’
WCTS service users continue to talk clearly about the need for a women-only service. They say that having female therapists enables them to talk more freely, feel understood and recover and develop their self-respect and confidence. They also say it is less intimidating than speaking to a man, and that it is easier to be oneself and to be self-critical, and that the power balance feels easier to manage.
“Women understand women”
“I wouldn’t want a male counsellor”
“Nothing is taboo”