Meet the Therapist: Jonathan Berry
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I have been in a lot of support roles over the years. I always found I was signposting people to other services for the real support that they needed. A lot of the people who needed support were holding emotional distress or psychological trauma that was so difficult to carry that it was affecting all aspects of their lives. I wanted to be the person who worked directly with these people, facilitating them to overcome what had or was still happening to them and live happier, more fulfilling lives.
Where did you train?
The University of Nottingham
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I practise person-centred experiential counselling. What really appeals to me about person-centred counselling is that the client chooses the direction of their own therapy. I trust in them to know what it is they need to talk about. I have the training and knowledge of person-centred theory, but the client is the person in the therapeutic relationship who is the most knowledgeable about their own life. I walk alongside them and help them to find their own answers. Clients in a person-centred therapeutic relationship with me will be accepted for who they are, truly heard and not judged.
How does person-centred therapy help with symptoms of psychological trauma?
The impact that a traumatic event or multiple traumatic events has on a person can be deeply engrained into their core self and very complex. The beauty of person-centred therapy is that it gives a traumatised person the acceptance, safety and space to explore the meaning they have given the trauma. They can process the feelings, emotions and behaviours connected to the trauma and over time make sense of them.
Once they fully gain this understanding, a person can then begin to rearrange the way they feel about the event, about themselves and other elements, into a new way of being. Eventually overcoming the trauma and successfully living with what happened to them.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with adults, eighteen years old and above, individually in one-to-one sessions. I have worked with clients in all age ranges up to around 50 years old.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love working in partnership with people on the aspects of their life that really matter to them. When they have a realisation or a breakthrough moment which changes their thought process in a positive way. It is amazing to be a part of the therapeutic process in which people find their own answers that lead to positive growth.
What is less pleasant?
When the self-doubt creeps in. I work alongside people who have been through so much and I am just a person. Some self-reflection and belief in my professional ability remedies these feelings though. When I think about some of the positive growth my clients have been so happy to see and feel within themselves the doubting in myself turns into believing in myself.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have only been with welldoing.org for two months. They are friendly, helpful and supportive, I use the booking system and have joined the therapy community on Facebook.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I have only ever suggested one book, but to two different clients: Authentic: How to be Yourself and Why it Matters by Stephen Joseph (2016).
What you do for your own mental health?
I enjoy getting out into nature, a walk in a forest is ideal, normally with my daughter who also loves to be outside and is normally up multiple trees.
You are a therapist in Melton Mowbray, Leicester. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
I currently only offer online video and telephone therapy sessions. Therefore, I can see clients from any area. Most of my clients are from Melton but I have some that are in the surrounding areas and a few that are from much further afield.
What’s your consultation room like?
As I am an online only therapist my consultation room is my living room. I am looking to get a physical consultation room in the local community as soon as my private practice has expanded enough to allow me to do this.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
It can be so daunting at first and a lot of people understandably have doubts as to how talking about what they are going through could even begin to help. I want people to know that therapy really can make a positive difference if they take that first big step and stick with it for as long as they can.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I had two years of person-centred therapy to overcome my own psychological trauma. I learned that my authentic self, the person who I truly am, is not somebody to be ashamed of, that I am good enough. I learned to fully understand myself and became able to show myself compassion and love. I learned to find peace within and accept myself for who I am.