Meet the Therapist: Karen Woodley
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I was attracted to becoming a therapist because I enjoy helping people and had a real sense of being able to be of service when I was training. Also, since childhood I have loved to see the 'real person' behind the masks and felt humbled by the uniqueness of each person as well as moved by their struggles.
Where did you train?
I trained through Canterbury Christchurch University and have a Masters in Movement Psychotherapy as well as training with the National Counselling Society.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
How does person-centred and humanistic therapy help with relationship difficulties?
Person-centred and humanistic therapy with an orientation toward the body (somatic) helps with all sorts of symptoms really. One area I work with is relationships and how being informed by the body gives insight into what might be difficult for the client in terms of reaching for the relationship they desire. Or, similarly, letting go of what does not work.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I tend to see middle-aged women and men with relationship issues, both individuals and couples, as well as those men and women with autism. Though young people with vulnerabilities is increasing in my practice, and I hope to attract more couples too.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I like to get to know people and be able to be in their experience with them.
What is less pleasant?
The fact that some people really have suffered horrendous situations and it's unpleasant to know that a fellow human (or not) has inflicted this upon them.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have just joined welldoing.org and am excited about this connection.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Sometimes if it is relevant to their process.
What you do for your own mental health?
I continue in my own personal therapy, I exercise and spend time with the people who make my world so meaningful, and I remind myself that life is sacred.
You are a therapist in the South Wales Valleys, specifically Blaenavon and Risca. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
Seeing clients here keeps me on my toes because people seem isolated in their anxieties and in so many differing ways. I also work with couples, sometimes for a few sessions and others for a longer time. As a clinical supervisor too I have supervisees who are students in Swansea University or the local colleges, and I volunteer for a mental health charity in Abergavenny. I love working here in the valleys!
What’s your consultation room like?
Both my rooms are bright, quirky and warm. One is in my home and the other is in my therapy centre.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Therapy can be a lifesaver, especially when you take risks and don't fight the process.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That the more I took risks the more I grew into myself and the people around me loved it!