Meet the Therapist: Dawn Walters
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I started life as a teacher in London’s East End at Brampton Manor School. As time went by, although I absolutely loved teaching, I found that what was really filling my soul, was when I could help the students with their emotional issues.
Where did you train?
I started my training with Brief in London, then did some further training with The Solutions Focus in Great Missenden. I then completed the Diploma course over four years with the Human Givens Institute and am now a member of the Institute.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I practise Human Givens therapy, which is underpinned by solution-focused brief therapy. Human Givens is basically made up of all the most successful parts of the most prominent therapies that exist. Some of the therapies it includes are: behavioural therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), guided imagery (incorporating deep relaxation and rehearsal for success) and NLP.
The main premise of this therapy is that if a person is not getting their 10 emotional needs met, then they will be out of kilter emotionally.
My job as a Human Givens therapist, is to listen and investigate what is missing from the person’s life, in terms of their emotional needs, and together with the patient, create a strategy to get them back to full emotional health.
The ten emotional needs are:
- Attention – receiving it
- Attention – giving it
- Emotional connection to other people
- Competence and achievements
All Human Givens therapists are trained to do the Rewind technique, which offers speedy recovery from all types of trauma, often in a single session.
We are also trained to do Counter Conditioning, a tool that helps enormously in stopping all types of addiction. One of my teachers stopped smoking when she practised this tool on one of her actual training sessions to become a therapist herself and hasn’t smoked since!
One of our main briefs is to make sure that the patient leaves that first session feeling hopeful.
Our first session is not to simply find out about the patient, but to start the patient on the road to recovery immediately.
How does Human Givens help with symptoms of trauma?
So for trauma, I listen carefully to the patient as we chat and I aim to pinpoint what it is exactly that is causing the trauma. Sometimes what the patient thinks is the cause is merely related and through further chat, the actual reason comes to the fore.
To erase a trauma, one of our tools is the Rewind. The beautiful thing about the Rewind is that the patient only needs to get a feel of the trauma, they don’t need to tell me the exact details about it. If you keep opening up a wound, it will never heal.
What sort of people do you usually see?
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love having the ability to change peoples’ lives in very few sessions.
What is less pleasant?
Human Givens therapy is known for the few sessions it takes to help people heal – after all, it is a brief therapy. This means that my clients pass through very quickly – it’s like losing a friend quickly.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have only been with you for one month, but you appear to be a slick organisation. I’ve joined the Facebook page and met some other members there.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Yes, I always suggest books and apps when I think it is appropriate. Recently, I suggested the book, Navigating the Teenage Years by Su Saunders, for a parent who was having problems with her daughter.
I also regularly recommend the successful Human Givens app called, BetterstopSuicide.
What you do for your own mental health?
I love to garden, read, dance, sing and cook. When I’m not busy doing something, I like to daydream a little.
You are a therapist in Nottingham. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
I live and work in Nottingham. However, currently, all my work is online because of the pandemic.
What’s your consultation room like?
I want to call my consultation room The Womb, because it feels like that, warm and protective. I haven’t had the courage to though, so at the moment I call it The Warm Room, taken from a song by one of my favourite singers, Kate Bush.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That with the right therapist, it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I learned that I was a lot stronger than I realised.