21st December 2016, To The Clerk to the Justices, The Shire Magistrates Court
Re Mr Shelly Long
I am a registered psychotherapist with the ‘United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy’. I have worked in private practise since 2003, gaining an MA in Core Process Psychotherapy from the Karuna Institute in 2008. I have 35 years of experience working in mental health privately and in the charitable sector, including 12 years for ‘The Shire Drugs Project’ and 10 years and other Substance Misuse Services. This brief summary report has been prepared at the request of the above named client.
On assessment, Mr Long presented with symptoms of moderate to severe depression and high levels of anxiety. He reported periods of problematic substance use since the age of 14 around the time he was placed into local authority care. His reported alcohol consumption on assessment was adjudged to be moderate. Mr Long reported a recurrent fear of abandonment within intimate relationships.
He returned to therapy in September 2016 following a break. Within that time he has disclosed having been a victim of a sexual assault during his teenage years and to having been sexually abused in childhood. He has always arrived to sessions on time, has been open to challenge and has been consistent in his attendance. Whilst his behaviour has at times been clearly of concern, I have never felt that he presents a physical threat to others.
Mr Long is clearly affected by abandonment issues arising from a violent, traumatic and disrupted childhood. Consequently, he struggles to cope within adult intimate relationships within which he fears further abandonment. When relationships have broken down, substance use has increased impacting negatively on his behaviour particularly affecting impulse control. Recently Mr Long has worked hard to gain insight into the relationship between negative childhood experiences, substance misuse and adult intimate relationships. I understand that he has referred himself back to ‘Addaction’, the non-statutory alcohol service. In my professional opinion, he could benefit greatly from re-engaging with that service to tackle the relapse into problematic drinking. I believe he will also gain from continuing weekly psychotherapy to focus on the abandonment issues and clarify the connections between trauma associated with the recently disclosed abuse, alcohol use, ‘abandonment issues’ and offending in terms of harassment. If he continues to commit fully to this I am confident Mr Long has the capacity to break the patterns of behaviour that have led to the offences for which he is in court.
Richard Smith MA, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist