Meet The Therapist: Brooke Hender
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I was working with a friend of a friend who helped me to start dealing with my own ‘stuff’ and she suggested that I would make a good therapist. At the time I thought this was a ridiculous idea. I was also afforded the opportunity to train by a good friend of mine who was willing to pay for the course. I only had to pay if I didn’t complete it. I wasn’t looking to become a therapist at that point. It was only towards the end of the course, and after I’d made some significant changes to my beliefs and my life, that I started to appreciate that I could support others in the way I’d been supported and that I could make a difference.
Where did you train?
I trained with Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy directly under Trevor Silvester, at Regent’s University. After the diploma I went straight into the Master Practitioner training, which I found really made the difference in working with clients.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
Cognitive hypnotherapy is an approach more than just a set number of techniques. It’s about finding what works for that client and using whatever tools you feel are appropriate. It utilises aspects of NLP, positive psychology, Cognitive theory and other approaches. It’s solution focused brief therapy. With additional training I’ve been able to incorporate other approaches under that basic approach. I like to work very conversationally and I’m not afraid to be disliked if what I’m doing is the most helpful thing for the client.
Flexibility is key and I’m only concerned about getting results.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I enjoy working with men and women and I would say two thirds of my clients are female, and of all ages from early twenties upwards. As everything is about something else I enjoy working with people who present with weight issues, stress and anxiety, addiction, sexual issues and confidence. I also see a number of women who on paper have ‘everything’ but are dissatisfied and are looking to find out why they are not satisfied.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I enjoy helping people to discover those things about themselves that make them realise that they are enough. So often their relationship to themselves is the critical issue as self-esteem underpins everything. I’m also a very curious person so I really love working with whatever I’m presented with, discovering what’s beneath the label they’ve been given or given themselves.
What is less pleasant?
We are dealing with problems and some of the experiences that clients share are genuinely harrowing. It’s hard to hear how some people treat others.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I’ve been using the site for well over a year and it’s a great way for clients to find what they feel is the right therapist for them. It’s well designed, and it offers a way to grow with your business, such as online booking and payments. I am using the community on Facebook as I’m always open to learning from other therapists and benefitting from their experience.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I love providing resources to clients or suggesting something that I feel would be helpful. I have a resources page on my website that offers suggestions generally and the work takes place between sessions so whatever supports that is helpful.
What you do for your own mental health?
Music and exercise are the two key ways that I look after myself. I run regularly and enjoy the social aspects of being in a running club. The club I attend, the Bearcats, has a real focus on mental health so that’s perfect for me.
I also find that composing music on my iPad is the perfect antidote to a difficult session. I lose myself in that process in a really helpful way.
I have a lot of friends that I can talk to and a wonderful supervisor who is very supportive.
You are a therapist in Richmond and Twickenham. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
It’s a lovely and very mixed area and I really enjoy the variety of clients that the area brings.
What’s your consultation room like?
I work out of a number of places locally and each place offers something different. I enjoy having different environments to work out of as I like change.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
There is still a feeling that therapy is for people who have on some level ‘failed’ or who can’t cope and they should and I’d love people to realise that it’s not that at all. We don’t have all the answers and why shouldn’t you talk to somebody who can help you see things in a different and more helpful way?
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That who I am right now, with my strengths and my weaknesses, is good enough. That I am worthy of being loved.