Frequently Asked Questions

Why start a low-cost service for ex-service personnel?

When it comes to getting help for psychological pain ex-services men and women are amongst the most excluded groups in Britain. By nature and by training they tend to be fiercely proud and independent.

On average, it takes 13 years from leaving the forces before ex-service men and women seek help. By then they have often left their partners, their children, their jobs – they may be drinking too much or even homeless. As I said, it takes a lot for someone from the services to ask for help.

If you feel stuck or you feel that you have issues that you want to discuss then please contact us – you deserve all the help you can ask for.

In battle we want people who can take pain, keep going and not complain relying on nobody but their comrades. These may be wonderful virtues in war but they are not appropriate to successful living outside of a war zone.

There is no need to be in pain and asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

We are being approached by men and women who have served in Britain’s wars as far back as the Korean conflict. They have carried too much pain for far too long.

We are being approached by wives who cannot bear to see the men they love living as they do.

The only professions who actually deal with such issues are the counsellors and psychotherapists – so we are offering our services at low cost. This is our gesture of thanks to you.

Is this all about PTSD?

Actually No. For the most part the issues we deal with in Ex-services personnel are those that everybody else in the world has to deal with – relationship issues, depression, anxiety, loss, anger, addictions, alcoholism, sexuality, and a failure to thrive or to fit in. And yes, we also deal with the long-term effects of trauma, but this is not exclusively about trauma.

But wouldn’t going to a therapist be an admission that there is something wrong with me?

Therapy is about movement. In everyone’s life there are areas where we feel stuck – areas in which life is not working and we cannot find a way through. We feel lifeless and disappointed in ourselves. Therapy is about moving those obstacles and allowing life to flow again. It’s not about being bad or mad – it’s about moving on.

Does the fact that I am visiting a therapist go onto my health or work record?

No. The work you do with your private therapist is confidential and does not appear on any government records.

Why can’t the Ministry of Defence take care of this?

If someone has had problems in the forces, then the MOD tends to help, but if problems emerge after someone rejoins the civilian world, then the proper channel is the NHS. Indeed in England the NHS runs 10 specialist units for ex-forces personnel, they also have units in Wales and Scotland however its our experience that veterans shy away from any form of help that might go onto their work record. Our service is private and confidential.

Why isn’t this service free?

The NHS is free at the point of access but it is far from free.   The cost to the state per hour of therapy in the NHS is actually far higher than that which you will be charges in Private Practice.  We charge for two reasons – the first is that it costs money to actually provide the service – the second is that people who pay get better results. You have to value this.

How do I know if the therapist is the right one for me?

Evidence shows that the most important predictor of the success of any form of therapy is that you feel some confidence in the therapist – you feel understood and that there is a relationship between you. So shop around, talk to the therapist over the phone – ask them about themselves and how they work and how they charge. Go and see them – but if there is no chemistry there – find someone else.

I can’t find anyone locally who is on your list.

The people on this page have all volunteered because either, they were at a meetings in which I lecture or they have read an article in  ‘Self and Society’. There’s more information on my website.

Our listings represent some 800 therapists working individually and in Clinics.   However if you can not  find someone please email me or call me on 07802 338773 and I will see what we can do.

I am a therapist and I would like to offer some time to the project

Thank you, let’s talk. Please Get in Touch and send me your details or call me on 07802 338773

Who do I complain to, if something goes wrong in the therapy?

Therapists work under the ethics of their association – usually the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists UKCP or the BACP the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Ask your therapist which organisation he or she belongs to. These are the ones who have the power to handle complaints.

What is the legal status of the Long Boat Home?

To protect our title – The Long Boat Home is a Company Limited by Guarantee.

If you feel you can help in any way – please do not hesitate to contact me.

Martin Pollecoff (Chief Purser)

The Long Boat Home would like to thank: James Antrican Richard Dening, Jane Rosoman, Michael Sclater, Alexandra Chalfont, Sally Forster, (the UKCP Political Action Group), and Marion Fitzpatrick of the Minster Centre – all for their encouragement, Maria Hayes for artwork and, Fiona Finlay and Omerli Cohen for their PR skills.


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