What attracted you to become a therapist?
I always had a strong interest in personal development and psychology but it was after going through a personal crisis, and going to therapy myself, that I became more deeply interested into the work. The timing to change career came naturally and I really wanted to work more closely with people. I had been moving from one country to another and it was time to take a pause. Training to become a psychotherapist was a different kind of journey, this time turning inward, back to the core self.
Where did you train?
I trained at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) in London, Little Venice.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am an integrative psychotherapist, which means I use four approaches: psychodynamic, humanistic, existential and transpersonal. This means I can be flexible, adapting the different tools to the client, focussing wherever the growth needs to go.
How does transpersonal work help with people in search of identity and life crisis?
I see a lot of international people who have been travelling and changing countries and as a result they have developed a loss of identity due their multicultural aspect. Transpersonal therapy addresses the fundamental question that human beings have asked throughout ages: “who am I?”.
In transpersonal psychotherapy we work with creative imagination (drawings and visualisation) to reconnect to this deeper identity within. Transpersonal psychotherapy looks how our life experiences can be seen as an opportunity for growth and re-awakening our true self.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see all sorts of people across the age and background spectrum. It makes the work very varied and rewarding. A high proportion of my clients are international and currently I have a high proportion in their mid to late thirties.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I like the relationship that you develop with the clients; this is the main drive for me. I also feel very privileged and touched when people open and share their deepest emotions.
It is always a unique feeling to watch people get unstuck and free themselves from early conditioning, grow and become more engaged with their life. I also learn a lot from my clients, it is a co-operative process and I love to see how as human being we have so much potential.
What is less pleasant?
The work can be quite tiring physically and emotionally. It can be a little frustrating as well when you build a relationship with a client and they decide to go when you know the work is not completely done.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have just joined the welldoing.org directory and find it very useful. I find the articles very interesting and the website full of useful resources.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I suggest apps like Calm or Headspace for mindfulness and Tara Brach has a great podcast with lots of meditation.
Will I ever be good enough by Karyl Mc Bride for clients with a narcissistic parent
Embracing your inner critic by Hal Stone & Sidra Stone
A manual for heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink
Grief work by Julia Samuel
Getting the love you want by Harville Hendrix for couples
And any of Mary Oliver’s poems and sometimes a good novel is the best!
What you do for your own mental health?
Supervision and being in therapy are still key for me. It helps ground me as I keep learning about myself and deepening issues. I think it is also good to still experience being in the client’s chair, it reminds me of how difficult it can be. However, self-care is essential when working with clients as we also model something about how we look after ourselves. So, for me exercising is important, I go to a ballet barre class twice a week and a long swimming session to empty my head. I find being in the water very cleansing and therapeutic. I also love being with my family, socialising with close friends, watching programmes and laughing!
You are a therapist in Russell Square and Kentish Town. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
My client base is very international therefore very much a reflection of the London population. I love that about the work; I meet different types of people from different countries and different cultures. It keeps me humble, open and curious.
What’s your consultation room like?
It is a cosy space with dim lights, books and plants. It is important to make it safe and comfortable.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That it is a liberating process and an opportunity for growth. I find a lot of people have pre-conceived ideas about therapy and think of the therapist as someone who will tell you what to do and that you might become dependent on him. But a good therapist will be there to guide you and reveal aspects of yourself that you didn’t know were there.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Amongst many things, like getting to know myself better, I mainly learnt that my previous experiences don’t have to define who I am today. I have learnt how to take responsibility for myself and the way I act in the world and that we can always rewrite our script. It is a real awakening to life.