Reaching Out : The Psychology of Assertive Outreach book cover
1st Edition

Reaching Out
The Psychology of Assertive Outreach

Edited By

Caroline Cupitt

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ISBN 9780415454070
Published September 8, 2009 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

Assertive outreach is a means of helping people with serious and persistent mental health difficulties who have not engaged with conventional mental health services. Reaching Out examines the application of psychological approaches in assertive outreach – a process which involves forming new relationships and offering hope to people who have been alienated from traditional methods.

Reaching Out begins with a discussion of topics including:

  • engagement
  • the team approach
  • assessments
  • team case formulation
  • managing stress and burnout for staff.

The second half of the book focuses on the task of delivering psychological therapies and considers a range of models including psychodynamic therapy, family therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and community approaches.

Reaching Out: The Psychology of Assertive Outreach demonstrates that the relationship between staff and service users is essential to the process of recovery and personal growth. The approach will apply not only to assertive outreach teams, but also to clinical psychologists, counsellors and other mental health professionals who are interested in psychological approaches to outreach work.

Table of Contents

Cupitt, Introduction. Part I: Taking a Psychological Approach. Gillespie, Meaden, Psychological Processes in Engagement. Cupitt, Gillham, Law, The Team Approach: Containment or Chaos? Meaden, Making Assessment and Outcomes Meaningful. Whomsley, Team Case Formulation. Gray, Mulligan, Staff Stress and Burnout. Part II: Applying Models of Psychological Therapy. Gillham, Law, Hickey, A Psychodynamic Perspective. Meddings, Gordon, Owen, Family and Systemic Work. Cupitt, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy. Meddings, Shaw, Diamond, Community Psychology. Gray, Johanson, Ethics and Professional Issues: The Universal and the Particular. Cupitt, Conclusion.

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Caroline Cupitt is a consultant clinical psychologist with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust specialising in assertive outreach. She has worked in assertive outreach since 1996, in both statutory and non-statutory settings, and is particularly interested in fostering psychological approaches.


"Assertive outreach services have provided an overdue milieu for the development and creative delivery of psychological approaches to meeting the needs of people who experience severe and enduring mental distress. Caroline Cupitt and her colleagues have reflected upon their extensive experience of assertive outreach to capture the broad impact of these approaches from a range of stakeholder perspectives, whilst drawing upon a spectrum of psychological/therapeutic orientations. Attention is appropriately focussed upon the influence of psychological variables during a service user's journey from engagement and formulation, through to therapy and outcome/participation.

This book should be read by all assertive outreach practitioners, and by those practitioners in other settings/services who wish to use psychological ideas to inform their work with this client group."  - Dr Mark Hayward, Clinical Psychologist, University of Surrey