RCNI Launch Clinical Innovation Project with Dr Jessica Taylor

19 January 2021

The RCNI this week launched their Clinical Innovation Project; a multi-faceted project aimed at working with and for the training of counsellors and therapists in the area of sexual violence with Dr Jessica Taylor.

Working with the renounced Dr Jessica Taylor of Victim Focus, the January 18 event was delivered alongside a fully qualified ISL interpreter, and can be viewed in full here. The aforementioned Dr Taylor is a UK based psychologist, survivor and author of best-selling book Why Women Are Blamed For Everything. Furthermore, Dr Taylor has co—created a ‘pioneering new world-standard training and evidence gathering programme on counselling survivors of sexual violence in a post-pandemic world’.

With everything in the world, Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on how such organisations can help those in need. With that, the Programme, called Counselling Survivors On and Off-Line, has emerged from the experience of the Covid-19 lockdown when Rape Crisis Centres had to be vacated and when trauma counselling services had to move on-line.

The next phase in this project is a Q&A session for mental health professionals, which will be facilitated by RCNI’s own Dr Michelle Walsh, and Dr Jessica Taylor. This event is penned in for January 25 and will be free to register. This will take place over Zoom, and places can be booked here.

According to Cliona Saidlear, Director of RCNI, the change in the provision of RCC counselling services brought about by the Covid-19 lockdown impacted profoundly on the quality and nature of the deep intervention required for survivors, in ways that could not have been predicted and that are still not fully understood.

“While there is some optimism that a vaccine for Covid-19 may mean a return to some normality in 2021, the impact of Covid and dealing with the trauma of sexual violence within a global shared trauma of a pandemic is not going to disappear,” she said.

The latest RCNI press release reveals startling data. For example, RCNI data from the initial lockdown period in 2020 illustrated ‘significant increases and changes in survivor engagement. There was a 23% increase in contacts made to Rape Crisis Centre Helplines. Almost all of those already in counselling in the centres could switch to remote counselling but some could not’.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) are a Carmichael resident organisation. You can read all about their fantastic work here. Finally, you can keep up to date with their social media accounts handily; their Facebook here, and their Twitter here.