Meet the Therapist: Jennifer Park
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I have always read books about our make-up as humans, our responses to life and what makes us tick, from as far back as I can remember. Once I discovered therapy in response to life experiences of my own, I knew I had found what I had always been looking for and ultimately I ended up training myself.
Where did you train?
I was fortunate enough to live very near CPPD in Hornsey which motivated me to choose this training institute out of convenience but it turned out to far exceed my expectations and I still rave about the place and the quality of teaching to anyone who will listen!
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am an integrative therapist. This means my training covered a variety of approaches including psychodynamic, transactional analysis, gestalt and person-centred and by integrating these together my own model has developed. Working relationally, I am open, communicative and warm in my approach, believing the relationship between therapist and client is at the heart of the success of the work. It is the relationship that heals.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see adults both male and female ranging from 18 upwards and I also see couples of any adult age.
What do you like about being a therapist?
It’s a privilege to be trusted with a person or a couples’ private life and to facilitate the healing process, aid insight, clarity and change.
What is less pleasant?
Witnessing the struggle, not being able to wave a magic wand.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
About a year, I like the modern accessible nature of the site. Therapy is coming out of the dark ages into the light but it still lacks a modern relevance that I think welldoing.org is helping to create.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Any book by David Richo is helpful for relationships as well as Codependency No More by Melody Beattie. Thanks to welldoing.org, I have offered the Calm app to some of my clients too.
What you do for your own mental health?
I remain in personal therapy and have done for many years so I understand the experience, process and benefit as both client and therapist. As well as this, I fully believe in the mind/body connection so I run and do yoga for both my mental and physical health, this year I also took up swimming in the ponds at Hampstead Heath, incredibly good for vitality!
As often as I can remember to, I meditate. I am constantly reading books in the field for both my own personal welfare and to keep developing my skills as a therapist. As I see it, we are all always a work in progress and there is always room for greater insight, self understanding, care, forgiveness, clarity, acceptance.
You are a therapist in Crouch End. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
Crouch End, North London has a really good mix of young adults and young families, alike. I now work 95% of the time on Zoom and I am fortunate enough to see clients from all over the world now as well as those who live locally. This tends to give me an insight into the pressures of modern life, dating, love, relationships, marriage, partnerships & parenting. These are all areas I work with a lot.
What’s your consultation room like?
I have a room in my house, it’s a calm quiet space with lots of natural light.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That is the greatest gift you can give yourself, that it’s not an overnight fix (this often frustrates people) but that the more you put in the more you can take out. It’s as simple as giving yourself time and space in a world in which this is increasingly reduced. That by learning about yourself and why you show up the way you do you can make changes that allow you to live well.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
To be kind to myself.