George Roberts is an online counsellor

What attracted you to become a therapist?

My first encounter with counselling was in my early married life where I volunteered as a marriage counsellor with CMAC – now Marriage Care.

For just over five years I enjoyed supporting couples including a monthly marriage prep course for engaged couples.

I went on to start my own parish course which was very rewarding and then took the very positive step to stop counselling and concentrate on my own marriage. I have a wonderful and supportive wife and four beautiful grown-up children. We have been married 42 years and counting.

I have always been interested in counselling but financially it was not viable, however the right circumstances finally allowed me to study and qualify as a pluralistic counsellor.

I am excited when I think what the future holds.


Where did you train? 

I trained with Chrysalis who offers accredited courses in Counselling and Hypnotherapy.


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

I am a pluralistic counsellor covering:


How does your style of therapy help?

Given several types of therapy were covered whilst studying I have likened it to having access to a toolbox for counselling and this lends itself to using what is required to support the client’s needs. As the client is the expert on what is happening to them, we will be led by them offering what therapy is necessary. 

For me I like what hypnotherapy has to offer: its meticulous preparation, planning and suggestion work, starting with the client being guided to a state of relaxation and heightened focus, the power of a personal script, relaxing the client to a deeper level, embedding agreed suggestion work and exploring issues or focusing on goals. 

Or just using a simple progressive muscle relaxation exercise, building on rapport and the therapeutic relationship.


What sort of people do you usually see? 

My placement at the Single Homeless Project in East London gave me a variety of clients, from young people struggling with having to flee a country at war, struggling with cultural shifts once living in another country, tradition and family-based dynamics. I saw both young and old, men and women covering issues such as anger, self esteem, drug addiction issues including housing issues, anxiety and depression.


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

With Covid came several challenges: worry around personal space, a rise in awareness around health and needing to be looked after, being alone and having a renewed appreciation of those around you and the value of time with loved ones.

The young seem to be more vocal and struggling, impacted by the lack of clear value parameters including male / female role models and the very real potential to damage through unregulated media and the wider internet, the lack of a moral compass, if not faith or spirituality.


What do you like about being a therapist?

I enjoy having the chance to support others and giving something back to the community I live with.

I enjoy the therapeutic relation I have with my clients, interaction with my fellow therapists and the challenges brought through supervision where there is a great opportunity to learn about yourself and benefit from different perceptions.


What is less pleasant?

Rather than 'less pleasant' I would use the word 'challenging'. As long as you are open to learning more about yourself and the relational process between first the client and counsellor and also between the counsellor and other counsellors or supervision then there is only a benefit.


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

I am a newcomer to Welldoing; I am enjoying navigating my way around the site and will take up invitations towards CPD and what is on offer in due time.


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

Games People Play by Erick Berne                                                                                

I would recommend this to anyone as I found it quite illuminating on a conscious and unconscious level. As the title suggests, it is all about the games people learn, the choice of playing them or not, unintentionally or intentionally, and the arising consequences.

The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

What you do for your own mental health? 

I have had my own personal therapy which has helped tremendously. I am currently working on getting fit, using walking our dog daily as a great way to take time out, relax and unwind. I also have several DIY projects on the go around the house. I was taught italics at an early age and I use calligraphy to calm and focus me. I am thinking of starting a stained-glass project to realise another interest.


You are an online therapist based in East London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?

Areas that I cover are:

Lewisham, Lee, Hither Green, and surrounding areas including central and East London.

A multiethnic mix, covering a rich variety of cultures.  

Issues around family and culture, anxiety, depression linked with housing situations, alongside a drug or alcohol-related issues.

Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, motivation issues, anger to name a few…


What do you wish people knew about therapy?

Therapy in all its guises is anchored in a firm base of ethics and standards which should should place the client and counsellor relationship and welfare as a priority.

Therapy is confidential, safe, a joint agreement, a collaboration to work together; it can be tough but rewarding and looks to be client-led.


What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

Aware of my need to please and be somebody else to fit in.

It’s OK to make mistakes, and to be vulnerable and show this vulnerability.

I am stronger than I thought I was.

It’s OK to put yourself first at times.

I am valued and loved.

Contact George here

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