Meet the Therapist: Bruno Condé
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Well…that is a 48-year-long story…
My mother is a systemic family therapist and our home environment growing up was very much oriented by her style.
After finishing my MBA, I started travelling with work and had the chance to meet people all over the world. I connected with their experiences, with their stories and with their pain. It wasn’t until my partner and I decided to adopt in the UK that I felt strongly that I should transform my sensibility and natural ability to connect with people into a profession.
Where did you train?
I think every psychotherapist starts their training the day they are born, as this is one of the professions where life experience plays such an important part. In my case, even more so, due to my mother’s background.
My professional training started at the University of Toronto and continued at LC&CTA (Lewisham Counselling and Counsellors Training Associates).
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I tend to say that therapists have to be sensitive ‘craftsmen’, sensing what their clients will better respond to and offer them the approach which will allow them to better connect with themselves.
For this reason I see myself as an integrative psychotherapist. I tend to vary between humanistic, psychodynamic, CBT and existential models.
I am currently fascinated by the concept of ‘self-reparenting', a theory developed by Eric Berne’s pupil, Dr. Muriel James.
How does ‘self-reparenting’ help with trauma related issues?
In an ideal world, we would all have received everything we need to develop as healthy, stable, confident human beings from our healthy, stable, confident parents. However, we know that, not only are parents often not like that, but, even if they were, our underdeveloped child brains would find ways of wanting to receive more than human parents could provide us with.
Some adults remain stuck in ‘trauma-time’, remaining in a world forever ruled by the ‘wounded inner child’. In practical terms, through ‘self-reparenting’ clients can offer themselves the acceptance and ultimately the genuine ‘love’ their inner child desperately continues to crave for… Only, this time, it is done based on their own terms and ways that they fully comprehend – because it is offered by themselves.
Feeling finally loved and accepted, these adults can finally heal.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I have clients from different countries and cultures, ages and backgrounds, but the majority of my clients are experiencing some sort of disconnection with themselves and doubting their choices in life, often resulting in depression or different types of anxiety.
Many of my clients are the adults stuck in ‘trauma-time’ to which I referred a few lines back.
Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?
I sense less stigma around therapy. A lot of work has been put into normalising mental health issues and this is making people more comfortable seeking help.
At the same time, I sense big corporations have realised the money-making potential of therapy and are shaping the profession in ways that I don’t necessarily consider very ethical.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I consider it a privilege being allowed in my client’s worlds. I think this is one of the only professions where we give our whole selves as an instrument for people to work themselves out.
I feel there is a real communion when I am with a client and being in touch with the humanity of others, gives me the great privilege of being in touch with my own.
What is less pleasant?
When expected clients don't attend.
How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?
I have only joined recently, but am really enjoying the peer support group and CPD sessions. In a profession that can feel quite isolating sometimes, meeting fellow therapists and interacting with them regularly feels very enriching.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I have absolutely no problem suggesting anything that could possibly help or bring awareness to a client…Only I make sure to state why and under which circumstances I came into contact with said book/app…
What made sense to me, might not make sense to someone else and I normally am clear about MY experience, and why said book/app touched ME.
What you do for your own mental health?
I exercise every morning and make sure to dedicate enough time to my husband and our four-year-old son. Children have a magical talent to ‘cleanse’…
I am also always checking with myself if my own needs are being met – whatever they are. My need for challenge, my need for peace, my need for a dose of silliness and, at times, my need to be away from my husband and four-year-old son!
You are a therapist in East Dulwich. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I tend to have more clients online than face-to-face, so the area where I am based does not influence much, really.
As opposed to many colleagues, who prefer working face-to-face due to the recognised value added to the therapeutic alliance, I appreciate working online as I feel it leaves clients more at ease.
From the comfort of a 'territory' they are familiar with, I find that, once the initial barrier is broken, clients can go quite deep exploring themselves in the comfort of their safe space.
I know many clients that simply would not be in therapy if they had to physically get outside their comfort zone. I feel that online sessions give them this extra comfort and I am quite happy with that.
What’s your consultation room like?
It is light and faces a garden. Very peaceful.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
How much it can help us reconnect with parts of ourselves we thought we had lost forever.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
The importance of listening to my healing voice. There are many voices within ourselves and we engage with them in different circumstances, but the healing voice. The calm, accepting, empathic, non-judgemental voice we all have inside of ourselves, has normally something very important to say…