Meet the Therapist: Lucas Teague
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I began training as a therapist 16 years ago, as I wanted to bring together my personal interests with my professional life. In this regard, I chose to train as a transpersonal psychotherapist, as this provided me with a relational therapeutic approach, whilst holding a good basis to work from in understanding unconscious processes, and the deeper existential meanings of life that I feel we all search for.
I feel my work as a psychotherapist helps to reaffirm the importance of the individual’s truth, as a means toward greater meaning and wholeness in our lives.
Where did you train?
I trained at Re-vision in North London. They provide integrative transpersonal psychotherapy training, which includes Gestalt, psychodynamic, and Jungian perspectives, within an holistic framework of working with mind, body and spirit.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
My integrative training means that I can adapt my way of working to suit each client's unique needs, which may change as we work together. I am interested in how our experiences from the past shape our present, in terms of relationships, self-image and self-beliefs.
I work empathically with clients, with an awareness of both what has happened and what is happening in the 'here-and-now'. I pay attention to what is happening between us as well as what they are experiencing with their breath and body. I have found that developing a relationship with the body and creating dialogue with different parts of it, can be a particularly effective means of working with emotions that feel out of reach or difficult to process with our rational minds.
I specialise in offering an holistic approach in the treatment of depression, anxiety, bereavement, and addictions. This means working with all aspects of the clients experience, as a means of helping them gain a more complete understanding of the underlying issues related to these difficulties. My experience of working with clients over a 14 year period has shown me that this is one of the most effective methods of fostering lasting change.
How does therapy help with moments of crisis?
A crisis in our lives can leave us feeling as though things have fallen apart. As though the very ground that we stand on is no longer safe enough to hold us. Our first impression at these times is to see this as something wrong, that needs fixing. This may include the breakdown of an important relationship, or the death of a loved one. There may be a change in our personal or professional circumstances, leaving us feeling uncertain about who we thought we were.
Many of the clients who come to see me find that in holding these moments of crisis, they are able to see what is asking to be seen or heard amongst the feelings of pain or confusion. Allowing a space for their difficulties to be witnessed can provide unexpected opportunities, which can open to a deeper relationship with ourselves and the world around us. Carl Jung once said that our symptoms, “may often signify something of great psychological value to the individual”. In this respect our symptoms; which may include depression, anxiety, addictions; or a loss of meaning in one's life can be viewed as having intention and purpose, and not wholly arbitrary.
This way of seeing ourselves can be challenging for many people and goes against the notion within society that we must aim towards perfection. However, the striving for perfection often leaves many people with feelings of emptiness or alienation in their lives. As though there is a lack of wholeness or completeness in ourselves. Clients are often surprised through the realisation that this notion of completeness can be one which is inclusive of the very things they were looking to get rid of. At these times, the things that appear to be the problem often initiate a process of re-balancing in their lives and greater depth, that leaves them with a new found sense of compassion and understanding for themselves. Clients often communicate that the things which they initially pushed aside, ended up becoming the things which led to them holding greater meaning and value in their lives.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with a wide spectrum of people. Many of whom are looking to find a greater sense of understanding of themselves, their relationships and their purpose in lives.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Being a therapist is a real privilege. I am invited to support someone, often at their darkest moments and see them move into a space of greater healing in their lives. The therapeutic process is really about love. The ability to love oneself and give a place to all of ourselves, even the parts that feel difficult or painful. It’s what we most need in our individual and collective lives at present.
What is less pleasant?
Being sedentary for hours at a time!
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I like the look of the website. Friendly team, who responded to my queries quickly and efficiently.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I tend to be old-school, and often recommend books to read. My two current favourites are The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller, which explores how grief can be a means of initiating us into a deeper relationship with ourselves and the world. The other, is The Deep Heart by John Prendergast, who is a therapist working in particular with the heart, as a portal into spiritual presence.
What you do for your own mental health?
I meditate, read, spend time with my kids and am always on the search for the next Netflix series to watch!
You are a therapist in Brick Lane and online. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
No, I don't think there's anything in particular about where I work that defines my client base. I think people tend to show up with similar issues in life. It’s like we're all acting out the same play. We might change characters, from time to time, or parts of the script, but we all want to be happy and get confused when that doesn’t seem possible.
What’s your consultation room like?
Light, bright, quiet and welcoming, which I think is important, in terms of creating an environment that can support the therapy.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That you don’t need to be “mentally ill” to have therapy. We all want to find greater meaning and purpose in our lives. Therapy can be a great way of understanding what this can be for you.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That I’m a lot better and a lot worse than I thought I was! It was and still is, to some extent, a humbling process of becoming right sized in the world.