What attracted you to become a therapist?
I was naturally the go-to person for friends and acquaintances who would tell me things they hadn’t told other people. I didn’t really know what to do with it, this information. I was always doing courses, and that’s how I happened upon Basic Counselling and Listening and it really helped me to boundary myself with friends and acquaintances. At the time I was working in media sales.
Where did you train?
I trained at a few places, at Clapham and Lambeth Colleges, Southwark College, City and Islington and LC&CTA for supervision. Integrative is my modality. I finished my training in 2008 and I see people in South-East London, in Peckham and Telegraph Hill.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see clients with concerns ranging from anxiety to more extreme issues, and bereavement. When I was training for my diploma I did a placement with CARIS Islington which is a bereavement service in Islington as well as MIND in Camden, so I've continued with both areas. The majority of my clients are aged from 20 to 40.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I like seeing clients have light bulb moments when something clicks, and then they start to change their behaviour and they find their identity. I love seeing them on their way, getting to a point where they feel they no longer need me.
What is less pleasant?
On occasion, some of the unconscious emotional transference that you can get is really quite intense and I have to fight to give back to the client responsibly. Sometimes you are left with the imprint of that person for some time after. What I mean by that is that sometimes a client can have an emotional response to me based on relationships formed in their childhood and this reaction / feeling for them are partly inappropriate in the present day. It can be a basic transferring of a relationship and not based in any real relation between the client and the counsellor. It can be a wide range of emotions ranging from positive to antagonistic. That moment is also something you definitely have lots to work with too.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I joined about 14 months ago and it has revolutionised my booking and payments. You’re all very helpful too. I think most people find things a lot easier now everything is online. Clients like having the capability to make transactions online so they don’t have to physically bring in the cash. For me it removes wasted time and other unwanted stress that the client and counsellor might have with administration. And it takes away the sometimes difficult conversations of late payments. It really is a very easy process.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I don’t suggest apps but I might suggest books such as bereavement books.
What you do for your own mental health?
I exercise, I cycle to and from work which gives me headspace between work and seeing my children. It’s important to me. As and when I need it, I’ll have my own therapy. And a bottle of wine with good friends and conversation is good too!
What’s your consultation room like?
It’s pretty basic, it’s got two chairs and a clock and is quite warm and small. But it’s quiet and private.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I wish that they could understand that it’s not a quick fix. I’m not there to fix them, it’s about taking responsibility. But it comes with time. Maybe the odd one might think i’m trying to stretch it out but some people come for one session and some come for two years - it’s their time and their work, and if it’s not right for them they should have the courage to not come back and choose someone else.