Meet the Therapist: Kate Graham
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I have been interested in how people work for a long time, and have always felt comfortable listening to and supporting others. At one point I spent four years training in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Coaching, which I found very helpful, both personally and professionally. Then eventually I decided to stop being envious of other people who were able to invest five years of their lives in becoming a psychotherapist and join them!
Where did you train?
I trained at the Scarborough Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Institute.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am trained in relational integrative psychotherapy. This means I work relationally, using the relationship that builds between us as a healing tool, and using the issues that develop between us to explore insights and choices together. The integrative element is about seeking integration: within ourselves, with others, with the environment, with work, family, faith. It is a verb as well as a noun, in that my approach integrates elements of gestalt, transactional analysis (TA), development and attachment theory and NLP, as well as a strong creative streak.
Compassion, play, humour and creativity form the basis of my work with young people. I am also trained in a range of trauma techniques, such as EMDR, rewind therapy and narrative therapy.
How does relational therapy help?
A relational approach can help with most issues that client’s present with, as the majority of trauma and distress is created in relationship, and thus needs to be met in relationship to heal. As I tune in to the clients relational needs I can experience what is missing and what that person needs, and find ways to offer it. This might be someone to validate them, or to disagree with them, or simply to see them in a way that is safe and un-shaming.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with a range of people. In my private practice I have worked both with people in their 90s and teenagers (as individuals). Currently the majority seem to be in their late 50s early 60s. At other times they have all been much younger. Experiencing anxiety is very common, as is coping with major life transitions such as the menopause, bereavement and retirement.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I find it an amazing privilege to listen to people and be trusted by them. I love the space for creativity and intuition, and the almost magic way in which people seem to find new space and choices in their lives.
What is less pleasant?
This work sometimes brings me up face to face with aspects of our society and the oppression and discrimination that I would like to believe doesn’t exist. It does exist and this work keeps me grounded in this difficult reality. So it’s not pleasant, but it is important.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I think I've been with the site about six months and I have had some very nice clients find me through it! I probably haven’t used the resources it offers as much as I should.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Yes I do. I'm a big fan of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre app, which I think is very helpful. I only recommend apps to clients that I have tried out myself. At the moment I am trying out Yoga Nidra, which I am finding helpful.
What you do for your own mental health?
I monitor my own health carefully, through regular meditation, and I love to get out in nature. I live near to both moors, and woods, and we have a river nearby. I enjoy making music with others and reading.
You are a therapist in West Yorkshire. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
Wharfedale is a very beautiful area, so the countryside is a resource for everyone. It's also an area that a lot of people have moved to, so whilst there are some families who have lived in the area for generations, many people are isolated or commuting long distances for work.
What’s your consultation room like?
Its lovely! Here is a photo. Its full of warm colours, and lots of books and pictures, plus my sand tray and creative resources.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Anyone can benefit from therapy – it’s a chance to become much more yourself. It’s not a life sentence: there are some situations where long-term work is needed to repair damage that has been sustained over a long period, but that isn’t everyone. Just a few sessions can be very helpful too.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Probably to trust myself and value who I am.