Meet the Therapist: Iris Winkel
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Originally, I helped people to have purpose in my life, to feel worthy. Luckily this transformed into genuine care and empathy. I was one of those friends that always listened to others and did my best to make them feel better, because that made me feel better. Now I know how to feel happy in myself. I love being a therapist and trying to understand the human mind.
Where did you train?
I trained at the renowned Sherwood Psychotherapy training institute in Nottingham. Here I graduate for my honour’s degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2012 and currently I am about to graduate for my MSc in Psychotherapy. I also have a diploma in counselling children and young adults and EMDR therapy.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am a humanistic integrative therapist. For clients this means that I work with the view that certain patterns are created in childhood, in relationship with caregivers. For example; if you been called stupid throughout your childhood, you take on this ‘script’ expecting the world around you to find you stupid and acting in this expected way. This belief is brought into adulthood causing problems in dealing with lives challenges and relationships.
I also offer online therapy.
How does integrative psychotherapy help with symptoms of anxiety and depression?
I work with clients to discover and see through the created ‘scripts’ in childhood and to discover the client’s true self, to help the client ‘realign’. The relationship between the client and the therapist is paramount for the client to practise a ‘new script’. In my work I use different tools depending on the client’s personality. This might mean meditation, body work, EMDR or art.
Besides this I also work specific with people who are traumatised and experience PTSD symptoms. To alleviate the suffering from PTSD, I work predominantly with EMDR and body work inspired by pioneers like Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I have a variety of clients from ex-army people with PTSD symptoms to teenagers with anxiety and depression. From people with unexpected bereavements to marriage breakups and students with stress
What do you like about being a therapist?
I am fascinated with the human mind and how it will find a way to cope, not always in a healthy way, but it always finds ways to cope. I love people walking out of my therapy room not being tormented anymore by nightmares and flashbacks and I love seeing people finding their autonomy in life.
What is less pleasant?
I don’t like all the paperwork and advertisement part of being a self-employed therapist. If it was up to me, I would see clients all day and not spend time at paperwork and advertising my practise.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been with welldoing.org for two years now, and I am very happy that they took over an important job for us therapists. I am also very impressed with their articles to keep people informed regarding mental health.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I always suggest two books to clients with PTSD; the comic book Trauma is Really Strange by Steve Haines and Peter Levine’s small book called Healing Trauma which comes with a CD and body exercises.
What you do for your own mental health?
I am a meditator and participate in at least one-week silent retreat a year. Recently I am thinking of taking up a hobby and I am contemplating building my own Victorian dollhouse.
You are a therapist in Chesterfield and Sheffield. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
Chesterfield seems to be the place people go to from the little villages in and around the peak district. Sheffield is predominately a student population.
What’s your consultation room like?
I have a spacious room in Chesterfield, nice and cozy with plants, there is a picture on the welldoing.org directory. In Sheffield I rent a room in a building dedicated to therapists.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I learned about my ‘script’, created in childhood. I thought I needed to work hard in relationships, to prove myself, to be accepted. Now I know I am worthy just the way I am and loveable for who I am.