Meet the Therapist: Kim Coussell
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I was drawn to psychotherapy because it's a profession that makes a meaningful difference to people's day-to-day lives. It is rewarding and satisfying, and you never stop learning as a therapist.
Where did you train?
I took a few theory based courses at Birkbeck University of London and then embarked on a diploma in counselling and psychotherapy at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) in London for a number of years.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
As an integrative psychotherapist I incorporate a range of approaches with my clients which enables me to tailor sessions to suit individual clients. Alongside exploring early life I am led by my client's experiences and we may work creatively together with art, movement, dreams and any way clients are called to express themselves in the session.
How does transpersonal therapy help?
The transpersonal honours all aspects of my client's experiences of themselves and their world. Through the lens of the transpersonal I maintain a sense of the client's deeper self which includes as yet unexplored potential. Transpersonal translates to 'beyond the personal' and my experience in particular of the transpersonal is being with one's inherent nature. That is our nature beyond our conditioning and connects to who we really are.
What type of people do you usually see?
I see clients from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences and each has a unique history. My client age group over the years has ranged from clients in their twenties to retirement years. Often the presenting issues are relational but there are many reasons that bring people to therapy.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Psychotherapy is a hugely rewarding profession. For me it's a privilege to journey alongside someone on the road of self exploration. I particularly enjoy sessions when clients have an Aha! moment; these breakthroughs in therapy are a treasure to behold.
What is less pleasant?
There's a tendency to work alone as a therapist, sometimes I miss the social aspects of working in a team. For me it's important to network and stay in contact with professionals in my field.
How long have you been with welldoing.org and what do you think of us?
I joined the platform after a friend recommended welldoing.org. I really enjoy the articles, they are current and always of interest to me. Also, I'm a big fan of Philippa Perry so I particularly enjoy her contributions!
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I tend to suggest more physical ways to reduce stress and anxiety through time outside in nature, being with loved ones, and taking time out to simply be in the moment doing something one enjoys. Also I do recommend books when it feels appropriate.
What do you do for your own mental health?
I stay as active as possible, even on a cold winters day! I live on the coast and for me a trip to the seafront with a matcha latte in my hand is one of my favourite ways to relax. I love the great outdoors and have a strong connection to nature and the changing seasons.
You are a therapist in Dorset and online. What can you share with us about working in this area?
Having worked in London as well as Dorset there is a difference in the client base. In London my clients are from all over the world, in Dorset you are more likely to have clients who are from the local area. Working online now offers the opportunity to work with clients from all over the country which is exciting.
What's your consultation room like?
I work in different locations so there is no opportunity to personalise the space. What is important to me in all the rooms I work in is that they are warm and inviting.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
How transformative it can be when you commit to the process. I think people can sometimes imagine it to be an overall gruelling experience, something to be endured. Although it is often challenging to face things that you haven't confronted before, the therapeutic space is also one where success can be celebrated and joyful moments shared.
There is also a sense of achievement having worked through something painful, so often we unearth qualities within ourselves that we may not have been conscious of before we embarked on the therapeutic journey.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I've learnt to trust myself and my intuition much more, and I feel I'm enjoying life more fully as a result. Most importantly, I have learnt to show myself the tenderness I show others, my internal narrative is much more compassionate these days.