Meet the Therapist: Joshua Moritz
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I have always been completely fascinated with the human experience and exploring of ourselves on a deeper level. Before I trained, I studied philosophy and I was interested in questions around existentialism, and what it means to be alive. As I explored psychotherapy and counselling more seriously, having benefited from personal therapy myself, it struck me as a calling and a natural next step in this exploration.
Where did you train?
I trained at the Minster Centre, one of the first integrative training institutes in the UK. It is a five-year training, rigorous both academically and experientially, where we are exposed to the full range of psychotherapeutic modalities, and trained to develop our own therapeutic approaches.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am an integrative psychotherapist, meaning that I am trained in a range of different modalities which in turn inspire my approach. I chose this way as the history of psychotherapy is broad and diverse and I wanted to develop as a flexible practitioner. My own approach is inspired by existential psychotherapy, attachment theory (what our relationships were like growing up), trauma work and relational psychotherapy (how we construct our relationships now).
How does integrative psychotherapy help with treating symptoms of anxiety?
Integrative psychotherapists often have a lot of different tools in their locker. With anxiety we can offer help both in terms of understanding the ‘here-and-now’ experiences (e.g. what anxiety feels like in your body, what are the triggers etc.) as well as digging deeper into the roots of anxiety (e.g. looking at childhood, traumas, the role of the unconscious etc.). We are not married to a rigid technique, so will often intuitively sense what direction the work needs to go, often in collaboration with our clients.
What sort of people do you usually see?
One of the joys of my career so far has been the diversity of clients I have worked with, from age 18 to 90. Currently, I work with adults coming with difficulties such as bereavement, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues and relationship difficulties. I also work with a lot of clients exploring issues and questions related to their sexuality and gender identity.
What do you like about being a therapist?
The gift of being a therapist is getting to bear witness to someone else’s intimate and authentic story. Ultimately, without any of the therapy jargon and theory, you are providing a safe and contained space for people to take risks and be vulnerable (often for the first time in their lives).
What is less pleasant?
I am not sure that therapy needs to be ‘pleasant’ always. Sometimes, the work involves getting into the messy, sticky and uncomfortable places. A teacher of mine suggests that the task of therapy is to ‘sit with the unbearable’, and I believe that getting familiar with less pleasant places is core to the work.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I’ve only been with welldoing.org for a few months, but have found the experience very positive so far, having been on a few different directories previously. I particularly like the booking-in system, allowing clients to find a therapist with availability which works for them.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Yes, I sometimes suggest books should it feel appropriate in the context of the work. Two books I have recommended recently in my practice are Staring at the Sun by Irvin Yalom and Rewriting the Rules by Meg-John Barker.
What you do for your own mental health?
You will often find me at a local Parkrun and I am an avid cyclist.
You are a therapist in Hackney. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I work close to Haggerston, amongst a diverse population in terms of ethnicities, religions, nationalities and cultural backgrounds. I work with a lot of creatives, students, artists and freelancers, as well as full-time professionals.
What’s your consultation room like?
My consultation room is at Hackney Therapy, and the rooms I practice from are stylish, comfortable and quiet. There is disabled access and a private waiting room.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Unfortunately, therapists do not have magic wands, and that therapy is an ongoing (and often non-linear) process. The most important facet of therapy is the therapeutic relationship with the therapist and client.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I learnt how to accept myself as who I am. I believe that the task of therapy often isn’t ‘change’ in itself, but that change comes once we have practice a radical acceptance of who we are (in all our parts).