What attracted you to become a therapist?
There were a number of reasons. I always found in other jobs that the thing I enjoyed the most was the bits in between the work: sitting with a cup of tea, people would start telling me about their day. I’ve been a writer and in journalism the bits I liked were when I was talking to someone about the emotional side of life
Where did you train?
I trained at the Gestalt Centre in London. My modality is Gestalt, but I also integrate person-centred.
How long have a you been a therapist?
I’ve been seeing people for two and a half years.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I practice in a GP surgery in Crouch End and privately in Highgate. At the former I see people who are referred usually for anxiety or depression, sometimes addiction, high stress, and some psychosomatic symptoms. In private practice I have seen more creative people such as actors, and people going through life stresses like divorce or a relationship problem. Before that I worked in a university and there were lots of identity issues.
Age-wise, I see anyone from 18 to 50s, but all adults. They are quite equal in gender - especially in the GP surgery. There are certainly more men than I would have imagined.
Until recently counselling has been something women were more comfortable to attend. But that’s changing now - particularly for younger men. They are finding counselling not as much of a big deal, whereas men in their 40s and 50s often feel counselling is very odd in their circumstances.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love being able to really talk, deeply and honestly, about emotions – to get stuck in to it. There’s something very powerful about that. I also enjoy the process of confidentiality and getting a really wide range of perspectives.
What is less interesting?
I find it all interesting! Even the business side of it. If I really have to find something to criticise, it might be the routine, and having my name and face exposed online for all to see.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I joined welldoing.org as soon as I fully qualified at the beginning of this year. I really like it, I like the whole idea of it. It feels like a community, with a lot of trust from the perspective of both the client and counsellor. It has a good reputation, and I’ve noticed that any client who comes through welldoing.org seems “safe”. It feels as if those clients will have gone through a process to get there, which don’t think is true in all other directories. It feels like a positive experience whenever I go on it, to read content, read a contact, take a payment.
How you’re finding the booking system?
I really like it, it’s very simple.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I haven’t yet, but it’s not something I’d rule out.
What you do for your own mental health?
I still see a counsellor myself, I chose to do that as part of keeping myself mentally healthy. I walk a lot, it helps me mentally to process my thoughts and keep me feeling healthy
What’s your consultation room like?
It’s very modern, in a holistic clinic setting, and all the rooms are very fresh, calming spaces. It smells nice too!
What do you wish more people knew about therapy?
I wish people would realise that the cliches of therapy aren’t true. I always find the same assumptions come up - e.g.: don’t psychoanalyse me, or they assume I’m trying to read their mind. I wish there wasn’t so much suspicion around the profession.