Meet the Therapist: Della Adams
What attracted you to become a therapist?
People. I have always had a love for people. It’s a passion.
Working in education for several years and observing young people, young adults and how we communicated, I felt drawn towards helping people with mental issues that often had an impact on their wellbeing as a whole. It was whilst I was a teacher and talking with other teachers that I saw the impact of stress on our wellbeing. This is what drew me to looking into counselling, and as I was told I had good listening stills, I wanted to develop this.
I fell in love with the counselling theory known as person-centred, by Carl Rodgers. This is me, I thought. I have a love for people, and this was how I can support and help people move from surviving to thriving and enable them to become the best version of themselves that they can.
Where did you train?
I trained at Chrysalis and obtained a Graduate Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapy Counselling. I also have a qualification as Level 4 Hypnotherapist; this is endorsed and regulated by the National Hypnotherapy Society.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I’m a person-centred integrative humanistic counsellor. This type of talking therapy is based on the premise that the client knows themselves better than anyone else. It is all about what the client brings into therapy and not what I think the client should be talking about. I go on the journey with the client and help gain a different perspective on the situation in question.
As a person-centred integrative humanistic therapist, I work from each individual set of circumstances and apply different modes of therapy where applicable.
Every person I see is welcomed into a safe and secure environment where they can explore their feelings, emotions, what ails them, and where they can tell their story, with no fear of judgement. Building trust and rapport, we work together to find routes to healing.
I work with:
- Self-defeating behaviours
How does person-centred integrative therapy help?
I believe that integrating a range of approaches is highly beneficial and it allows me to tailor my approach to meet the needs of the person I am seeing. We are all different and one size does not fit all.
I have used the person-centred approach as my base in counselling for bereavement as it helps the person explore their feelings surrounding the loss of their loved one, their pet or perhaps their job. And that goes also for the life you will no longer have. I help them explore that what they are feeling is normal, there is no set timeframe for how they should be feeling and how they are actually feeling is unique to them.
When we work through loss it is sometimes hard to find the words to express and to pinpoint the exact emotions. I sometimes use a creative approach, for example if the client has a liking for drawing, we can spend time using sand and colour to express that feeling and talk about the person they have lost. It can be such a powerful way of opening up.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see clients from all walks of life, and from all ages from 18 up. I have clients from all different backgrounds, cultures, gender, sexual orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds. Clients come with a varied range of concerns from depression, relationship problems, PTSD, to anxiety and bereavement.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Seeing a client’s mood lighten when things have changed for the better. How thankful they are when they see the transformation, and that the therapeutic process has worked for them. The feeling of having helped someone, is warm, just wonderful. Also joining them on their journey and when I eventually take my leave of them, they continue with the journey empowered.
What is less pleasant?
I have not yet found anything unpleasant in therapy although if I have had a client who decides not to continue after the initial consultation or even if I have had several sessions with them, and it comes to it that I cannot help, I refer them on to something that is more suitable for them. Also it sometimes can be hard as a therapist to deal with safeguarding on the issue of suicide and self-harm.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been with welldoing.org for a few months now. From what I have seen so far it seems to be an excellent resource for matching people to the most appropriate therapist. I like the booking system, which I have used once. So far I find the online support team very good, and they are a great help and very supportive.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I have suggested relaxation apps – the ones that I have found useful. For example, “Happy but not perfect”
What you do for your own mental health?
I find time for myself and self-care which is very important. I do things like going for walks, reading, and meditating. I do tai chi as a form of exercise. It is good practice to have a good work-life balance
You are a therapist in Bristol. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I live in Bristol which has such a diverse population. Whatever class, culture, gender, and age you are, if you're having mental health issues it doesn’t matter where you come from or what background you’re from. It’s that you have access to the help you need that matters.
I have found that people are very open about their mental health and are open to the help that is available.
I also offer online sessions; this has meant I have seen clients nationally and opens possibilities for helping people internationally too.
What’s your consultation room like?
My consultation room is neutral in colour with a few landscape pictures. It is warm, calm, and welcoming. My clients have told me its peaceful as they walk in.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I would like people to know that therapy is a personal choice, and that therapy works if you are ready to engage with it. I find that therapy can help people see things in a different light. That they should not feel intimidated about coming to see a therapist. It takes courage to start, but once you are seeing someone, the initial nerves tend to subside. See it as talking to a favourite aunt or uncle.
There is no shame in needing or wanting help and it is unwise to wait until a crisis point before seeking help. (I am also aware that it sometimes takes a crisis to prompt someone to see a therapist).
I would like people to know that therapy can be useful for anyone, regardless of their circumstances. Life can be extremely busy, and therapy gives you time and space to reflect and review aspects of yourself and your life. In my eyes this is about self-care and ensuring you are enjoying life to the fullest and operating at your best.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I am who I am. I am strong and have a lot to live for. It’s OK not to be OK and it’s enough to be good enough. I have choice on how things are for me, I make my own path and I don’t have to stick to the blueprint that was given to me at birth.
I have had trauma in my own life and on reflection I have come a long way! I have seen the progress I have made and it’s this positive energy I use and pass onto my clients.