Meet the Therapist: Alan Bower
What attracted you to become a therapist?
My interest in people and the reasons why we think, behave and interact the way we do first attracted me to become a therapist.
Where did you train?
My formative training in general social work and counselling was delivered in a military environment, however, more specifically, my studies in therapy were conducted mainly in distance learning.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
The therapy I practise is generic, but my area of specialisation is CBT. Utilising the S.M.A.R.T. model, clients can own the process with the therapist, and move at a pace which feels comfortable for them.
How does CBT help?
CBT provides a structure for clients who may find themselves devoid of a plan by which they can progress at their own pace, to eventually arrive at a situation whereby they are able to function in a more progressive manner.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I am available to anybody in a generic capacity, but I have extensive experience in working with special needs groups, young people and the elderly.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Being a therapist provides opportunities every day to broaden my knowledge of people, myself and the world in which we live.
What is less pleasant?
I find, I suppose, if there is a less pleasant side to what I do, it would be a personal frustration and disappointment at the capacity in some people, to willingly harm others.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I'm a relative 'newby' to welldoing.org, but in my interaction thus far, I have found the organisation to be pleasant, helpful and efficient. I'm still becoming acquainted with some of the mechanics of the site, but am attempting to progress, given my limited technical abilities!
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I use a book called The Little C.B.T. Handbook, which is a work-through publication that can be used in conjunction with any agreed plan with a client.
What do you do for your own mental health?
Mental health is important in a personal context, so I find that my involvement in music, amongst other things, provides a constructive and pleasurable interest. I think it's worth saying that musical expression can also be a good form of therapy for clients!
You are a therapist in Helston, Cornwall and online. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
I am based in Helston in Cornwall, but technology provides the ability for me to be reachable online from any location. Given current social circumstances, my client base could be from any part of the community.
What’s your consultation room like?
The client may choose which specific environment feels most conducive to the effective progress of therapy. My meeting area is in my studio initially, where hopefully, the visual presence of numerous musical instruments and memorabilia, provide an atmosphere that is safe and calming. That said, if a client feels that a long walk by the sea is more beneficial to the mood for therapy, then that's fine too.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I can't guarantee that therapy is a panacea for all ailments, but I think a more thorough awareness among the general public of what's available, would be helpful.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I like to think I am learning more about myself as each situation presents itself. I feel I have a more pragmatic approach to most things as time progresses.