Meet the Therapist: Leon Millingen
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I always seemed to be the person my friends would go to when they needed to talk to someone and found it rewarding helping them make sense of their issues.
So the route into counselling seemed a natural progression of that.
Where did you train?
My diploma was achieved at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute (CPTA) in London and I began my Introduction to Counselling at Morley College in London.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am an integrative therapist practising both person-centred and psychodynamic counselling modalities. However, I will also bring in other modalities such as CBT exercises and ACT if I think it will help my client. This means I have a flexible approach to counselling and can respond to the client's needs.
How does integrative therapy help with gambling addiction?
One of the areas that I have experience in is gambling addiction and have worked with individuals and groups at a residential gambling rehab in London.
I am open to working with clients in the way that best helps them. Therefore I feel an integrated flexible approach to working with issues such as problem gambling can help the client explore and understand the underlying reasons (possibly historical) that draws the client to this behaviour and the devastating emotional, financial and psychological effects it can cause to one’s self and family.
Together we may look at how this behaviour can be understood, explained and challenged.
What sort of people do you usually see?
My clients are from a wide demographic with a varied mix of issues such as depression, anxiety, self esteem, relationships and various other issues.
Presently I do not provide counselling for under 16s or couples.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Without sounding too cliched I love being able to provide a safe space in order to help my clients and find it incredibly fulfilling to see clients gain greater understanding, empowerment and control of their presenting issues.
What is less pleasant?
I’m in the very fortunate position of not having too much to complain about, although I sometimes wish I could get someone to sort out all of my admin work for me.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I’ve only been on welldoing.org for a short while and thought I’d give it a try as it seems very innovative and forward-thinking in its approach, particularly with regard to useful resources and articles for therapists.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Absolutely, if I find anything at all that may be helpful to a client I won’t hesitate to recommend it or email it to them. I always have current clients in mind when reading relevant literature. There are also mindfulness apps and online counselling clips that I will share with clients.
What you do for your own mental health?
I have regular sessions with my supervisor where I am able to talk about clients (confidentially) and also share some of my own issues.
I also have a stringent exercise regime and eat healthily, as well as practice mindfulness (although I sometimes slip up on that).
You are a therapist in South London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I was born and raised in South London so feel I know the area and the people as well as anyone.
What’s your consultation room like?
My counselling room is perfect for counselling, with a waiting room and coffee machine. The room has comfy chairs, a fireplace and good lighting.. ideal!
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I feel some people are reluctant to attend therapy because they feel they will be pushed into talking about issues they may be uncomfortable with. It isn’t like that.. the sessions are client-lead and I would never push anyone into talking about anything they’re not ready for.. all in your own time.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
A huge amount. Therapy made me understand who I am and what I want from life. It also feels extremely cathartic to have a safe place to offload concerns and thoughts without feeling a burden.