Meet the therapist Caroline Watson
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I trained to become a therapist because someone close to me suffered for years with depression, so much so that on some days he was unable to even get out of bed. Seeing firsthand the mental pain that he experienced, I decided to learn everything I could about anxiety, stress and depression.
Where did you train?
I did my counselling training at West Kent college.
CBT diploma - Kent College
Hypnotherapy diploma – Kent College
Mediation training - LBA
Divorce therapy and mentoring - BSY
Online counselling - Counselling Tutor
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
My main mode of therapy is person-centred, so the therapy is centred around the person or client. Using this approach makes my clients feel heard and understood. They like the straightforwardness of my approach and the fact that I do not use counselling jargon!
How does person-centred therapy help?
Person-centred therapy is good at getting to the core of the problem. Using open questions I can quickly establish where my client is and where they wish to be. For example, with depression they often express a feeling of ‘nothingness’,’ a hole that they cannot get out of’, ‘a constant feeling of pressure that will not lift’. I ask them quite simply what their world would look like and feel like if the pressure and nothingness were not there.
It always amazes me how colourful and lovely their world would be once their depression lifts. I then know what we are working towards together.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I mainly see adults and couples of all ages. The majority of my work is around relationship issues, depression, burnout and marriage difficulties.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Everything. Meeting people, being trusted with their hopes, fears, disappointments. Every person is different and has a unique story. Each and every 50 minute session that I have is truly a privilege in so far as the client has chosen to share personal information with me.
What is less pleasant?
If I have to be honest, paperwork and forms. We seem to need so many contracts and forms these days, but sadly it is a necessary evil.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Yes, I do recommend books and apps to clients. There are some amazing apps available to download and lots of useful literature especially around depression and self-help.
What you do for your own mental health?
Walking, swimming reading and studying. Lockdown has been an interesting time full of challenges, so I decided to use the extra time to learn something new.
You are a therapist in the Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells area. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
I do not think that working in this area defines my client base. I see people from all walks of life and there is a common theme across all walks of life, which people do not realise.
What’s your consultation room like?
It is a light airy room with three comfortable chairs, lots of books and a large window.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That it is the best investment you can ever make for yourself. If your head is happy, your body will be too.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I learned so much about myself in therapy. When I started my training, I really had no idea how beneficial and powerful talking to a trained counsellor was. I uncovered my fears, my bias’s and my stumbling blocks. I realised that I procrastinated a lot and put ridiculous pressure and stress upon myself by leaving tasks to the last minute and then panicking.
Therapy also freed me from a rigid way of thinking. I had been brought up in the era when you didn’t question anything, you just got on and did it! Consequently I am much more open and relaxed about life.