Darcy Ugboaja is a therapist in West London and online

What attracted you to become a therapist?

Life! In a nutshell. After studying the history of psychotherapy during my BA, I became interested in psychotherapeutic practices and how mental health disorders are currently treated. Mental health is a term we use very often, but less clear is what it actually means on an individual level.

Where did you train? 

I trained at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy (CCPE) in Paddington, London. I started with the Foundation in Counselling and Psychotherapy and then completed my Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?

I work integratively with a focus on the transpersonal. This means that I use skills and tools that cover psychodynamic, humanistic, existential, and person-centred therapies. 

For clients who struggle to express themselves through words, this can include working creatively with art, sandtray, journalling, and other outlets to express their thoughts and emotions. 

How does your style of therapy help with symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. Clients presenting with these issues can oscillate between periods of low moods and increased anxiety within a short amount of time which can lead to burn out. They key to both is regulation. 

With integrative therapy, clients will have an outlet to not just voice how they are feeling, but also explore the root cause of their issues and how these triggers may be manifesting in their current lives. 

What sort of people do you usually see?

I work with adults, young and old. My practice is diverse and reflects the changing world we live in. 

Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude? 

Post-pandemic, I have noticed an increase in younger adults accessing therapy. The increase of social media usage and the shift in how success and individuality is measured has I believe placed a huge strain on young adults.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I love being a therapist and feel so privileged to have been called to such a healing profession. I am always blown away by the capacity for healing that takes place within the therapeutic process. Client meets therapist and through listening, witnessing, and sharing, they come to an unconscious agreement that wills the client to heal and live their best lives. It’s wonderful!

What is less pleasant?

The admin side. 

How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?

I have been with Welldoing a month and the professionalism and kindness from the team have really impressed me. Welldoing supports the therapists which in turn helps us support our clients. 

What books have been important to you in terms of your professional and personal development? Do you ever recommend books to clients? 

Two of my favourite books are All About Love by bell hooks and The Inner World of Trauma by Donald Kalsched. Love has the ability to heal and hold, but very often in life the type of love received causes lasting damage and pain. 

bell hooks puts forward an alternative, wholesome definition of love. Donald Kalsched in his book explains through the use of clinical examples the inner workings of the mind and psyche, how this is affected by early trauma and how to heal this rupture in the therapeutic process. 

I recommend books to clients if I feel the literature will give insight into where they are in their process. 

What you do for your own mental health? 

I exercise, pray, meditate and hike. A good walk outdoors can-do wonders for the nervous system. 

You are a therapist in South and West London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?

The areas I practice are diverse, hence my practice is diverse. Pre-Covid, I would say that my clients in central London were those who work in the city or close to the city, but post-covid that has changed. I find once clients feel safe within the therapy, they feel comfortable to travel to most locations. I also offer therapy online. 

What’s your consultation room like?

Warm, inviting, and comfortable. I practice in psychotherapy centres or online which means there is a feeling of healing throughout the premises. 

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

That it isn’t as scary as you think. It's actually quite wonderful. It’s a space just for you, to talk, to be witnessed, to heal, to laugh and to grow. When clients are ending therapy, we often reflect on their initial fears and reservations versus how they feel after therapy and it's always a joy as their therapist to hear them laugh as they realise how far they have come through their own courage and determination. 

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

That my capacity to hold and heal is not just acquired through my training, but also is inherent in my nature. As a northerner, originally from Liverpool, my disposition is one of openness and love. 

Contact Darcy here

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