Joshua Miles is a psychotherapist in East and North London

What attracted you to become a therapist?

I have always been curious and interested in people, their motivations, life experiences and desires. I am influenced by and interested in imagery, imagination, phantasy and metaphor, so training as a psychotherapist was very appealing to me.

Where did you train? 

I initially trained at Middlesex University where I studied for my three-year BA in Counselling. 

Some years later I returned to studying and completed a three-year MSc in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at Birkbeck College, University of London. 

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise? 

As a psychodynamic psychotherapist, I work to help people uncover and understand their unconscious processes and feelings. I believe that often our mind may conceal or retain experiences, feelings or memories which may be too painful or difficult for the conscious mind to process.

The psychodynamic model model was originally developed by Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein and others, and emphasises the importance of understanding our early lives, environments and relationships with parents or caregivers. It asserts that the difficulties we experience in our adult lives often have origins in earlier times of our lives. 

Psychodynamic psychotherapy does not seek to provide a quick solution to pain and suffering, rather it offers an opportunity to explore a persons thoughts, feelings and lives at depth. Ultimately, it aims to give people greater understanding and insight into their own minds.

How does psychodynamic psychotherapy help with symptoms of anxiety?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is helpful when working with anxiety. I work with people to look more deeply at the roots of their anxiety and distress. This understanding of anxiety allows someone to better manage the symptoms in their daily lives. 

I have a specialist interest working with people from creative backgrounds. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is particularly helpful when working with people who feel blocked creatively or somehow stuck, demotivated or losing interest in their creative process or work. Working at depth offers an opportunity to explore possible conflicts, either past or present, which might be impacting on someone’s creative work. 

What sort of people do you usually see?

I work with adults from 20 years old to 75 from differing backgrounds and experiences. Commonly, the people I work with often experience difficulties related to some form of anxiety, whether that is in a relationship, at work or due to a life change or decision they are trying to make. 

Quite often, people sense that something in their life does not feel right, manageable or fully understood, and they are seeking a way to explore areas of their lives which may feel unclear, unsettling or uncomfortable. 

Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?

The climate crisis is certainly the greatest existential threat we have ever faced. In recent years there has been an increase in people bringing climate anxiety into the consulting room. 

I have also had an increase in people in their early twenties who are coming out the other side of the pandemic having lost out on important experiences such as in-person learning at university or reduced social interactions due to lockdowns.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I enjoy helping people piece together and make sense of their thoughts, feelings and experiences. It is deeply enriching and rewarding to see how the relationship between psychotherapist and client can be an agent for facilitating such great change. It is very meaningful for me when people leave knowing themselves more than when they first walked into my consulting room. 

What is less pleasant?

It can be challenging seeing someone repeat patterns in their lives which cause them pain or hurt. 

The isolation of private practice can sometimes be difficult also.

How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?

I have been with Welldoing for about six years. I find their approach refreshing, and appreciate their responsiveness to the changing landscape of psychotherapy.

What you do for your own mental health? 

I spend time writing and producing music, exercising in the gym, walking and swimming. I also organise regular clinical and non-clinical groups with colleagues which enrich my work and my own mental health. 

You are a therapist in East London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?

I work in person in Homerton, East London. I often work with people from creative backgrounds such as advertising, graphic design and film production, as well as musicians and artists.

What’s your consultation room like?

My consulting room is spacious with a neutral and modern decor and benefits from lots of natural light. There is an individual entry intercom and the room is sound proofed. There are two comfortable chairs, as well as a traditional analytic couch, for clients who choose to work this way with me. 

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

You do not need to have experienced or be experiencing complex or deeply traumatic events in your life to begin psychotherapy, nor is it something to be embarrassed about. I wish people knew what a wonderful opportunity it offers to enrich their lives. 

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

I have learned that there will always be experiences in life that may be challenging, but that these can be worked through and understood. 

I have discovered that you are always learning about yourself and who you are, and that life is about accepting new parts, as much as it is about knowing it is OK to let others go.

Contact Joshua here

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