This month, Rafan House Harley Street celebrates its first ten years – read on to find out how we started, where we are now and where we are going.
|Rafan House Psychotherapy Clinic began in Harley Street, ten years ago, with three clinicians and a practice manager; we now have a team of 25. The name came from a wooden merry-go-round horse in a children’s story: the horse is going round and round on his carousel, looking at the world, distressed that he cannot engage in a life of his own. A young child names the horse ‘Rafan’ and in this moment of transformation, the wooden horse becomes flesh and is set free. The aim was to create a place where conversations might be had on the workings of the unconscious mind and how what happens in our early lives affects our adult decisions. It was also to be a place for everyone, from individuals to children, couples and families.
Over the years the team grew, to include specialists in corporate issues. Rafan House Harley Street was becoming the go-to place for people who needed help to sort out a fight with their partners, or with siblings after the death of a parent, or with their business partner. The common denominator for all was the requirement for absolute discretion, which Rafan House was able to satisfy.
Now, in addition to individual, child and family therapy, the clinic offers:
* One-off conversations on topics such as when and how to tell children about an impending divorce
* Corporate burnout management, coaching and team building workshops
*trauma management for situations such as the death or suicide of a colleague or pupil
* help in high-conflict negotiation such as divorce or family breakup
* conversations around bereavement and grief for those who have suffered miscarriage or infertility
* consultancy on mental health and safeguarding for corporate, educational and charitable organisations
The lockdowns of the pandemic forced the clinic to find new ways of working, and within a month of the first lockdown, all psychotherapeutic sessions were being held online. This way of working presented a whole new set of challenges, such as safeguarding and privacy, but it turned out to be a very popular and effective way of working, especially for families. It also made it possible to help people nationally and internationally, and connect people for family or couples therapy who might not even be in the same time zone.
Why do people continue to choose to come to Rafan House for a conversation? People tell us they value our professionally discreet, conversational approach. The public is also moving away from the idea that expert psychotherapeutic help is only for the long term. People also like the flexibility of one-off appointments, or a short defined period of consultation. For example, couples going through high conflict divorce will come to us for help in navigating difficult issues – we can save them a lot in time, stress and lawyers’ fees. It is also very helpful that we have such a broad range of expertise among our clinicians – it means there is no time wasted if referral is needed.
So what about the next ten years for Rafan House? We are in a period of tremendous need at present, as people emerge from the pandemic. There is an increasing awareness too of the importance of general mental and emotional health and wellbeing, and a wish to live our ‘best life’. We are looking forward to helping as many people as we can to live those lives.