Meet the Therapist: John Parker
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Awareness of my own 'demons'.
Where did you train?
Leeds. I initially trained in hypnotherapy many years ago, before working in psychiatry within the NHS (working with depression, bipolar, anxiety/stress disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, self harming behaviours, suicidal behaviours, personality disorders, medium secure forensic unit etc.)
I then trained/worked as alcohol counsellor; then I trained/worked as generic addictions counsellor; then I trained/worked in agency (Survivors - Hull & East Riding) where we specialised in working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In this context I learned about the nature of psychological trauma and dissociative disorders as well as PTSD and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).
What sort of people do you usually see?
Primarily individuals - Issues tend to be related to relationships or self-esteem.
I am happy to consider seeing anyone. My starting point is a comprehensive assessment to clarify the presenting issue(s) . I will then discuss therapeutic options with the client.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Supporting clients with what are often termed psychological or mental health issues (although I am uncomfortable with both of those terms).
What is less pleasant?
Sometimes listening to life-histories that are full of unpleasantness and abuse can be difficult to manage
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I am very new to welldoing.org
Have you tried the Calm mindfulness app offered to all our therapists?
No. Though I have studied mindfulness and use it myself, and where appropriate would support clients in using it.
Have your clients tried it?
I am wary of the unsupported use of mindfulness. People tend to misunderstand it. It is not a medium for relaxation. The purpose of it is to encourage awareness - shifting information from the unconscious parts of the mind into consciousness. If this information is of an unpleasant nature it can cause trauma or re-trauma where there is not the proper support.
What you do for your own mental health?
I have my own therapist. I make full use of clinical supervision. I garden. I cook. I listen to music.
You are a therapist in Brough, near Hull. What can you tell us about being a therapist the areas you practice in?
I currently work in Brough which is a town ten miles west of the city of Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Brough is easily accessible from all parts of east Yorkshire and from Hull (as is only 10 miles from the centre via the A63 , or by train; I am only two minutes walk from Brough station).
If you look on a map you will see that both Hull and Brough sit on the north shore of the Humber estuary. The Humber Bridge links to North Lincolnshire and its towns (Barton, Brigg, Scunthorpe etc.) which sit in a largely rural area.
What’s your consultation room like?
Spacious, light and airy, comfortable, garden views.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That in the kind of therapy I practice, with a primary focus on client-centredness, the client is in control. They determine the direction and pace of therapy.
That the therapeutic space is unique, special, safe - a place to explore and experiment.
That the therapeutic relationship is a special relationship that is specifically for the benefit of the client.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That I am a human being experiencing the human condition with all of its faults and imperfections, but also its delights.
That I experienced a traumatic childhood that influences the way I experience life.
That I want more.