Research Article

The Isis Centre: a counselling service within the National Health Service.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 07 August 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:355
  1. P Agulnik,
  2. P Holroyd,
  3. B Mandelbrote


    A new centre has been established to provide readily accessible counselling, consultation, and mental health information. People may refer themselves or are recommended to attend by general practitioners or other agencies. The counsellors have varied backgrounds in paramedical or counselling services, and they are supported by psychiatrists. Of a sample of 100 clients, four were referred to one of the team's psychiatrists and 33 visited the centre only once. The centre's staff aim to adopt a flexible approach to the client and his problems, and formal psychiatric categories have not been found useful. Provision is made for people who want to solve their problems by discussion rather than medication and those for whom the existing psychiatric services may have little time to spare. Consequently, the approach adopted by the Isis Centre, whereby many people benefit from psychotherapy yet the psychiatrist deals directly with only a few selected cases, contributes towards meeting the great need for psychiatric services and using the psychiatrist's skills more effectively.