Meet the Therapist: Miriam Christie
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I'm interested in others and fascinated by the mind, body connection. I’ve always been drawn to working in mental health and an inspiring psychotherapist helped me to realise that psychotherapy was the path I was being pointed towards.
Where did you train?
I trained at The Gestalt Centre in London and at CPPD, one of the leading humanistic integrative counselling training schools in the UK.
I have a Certificate in Humanistic Counselling, a Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling and an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling.
I also hold a level three diploma in yoga and in pre- and postnatal fitness and a certificate in ecotherapy.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
As an integrative therapist, I work with modes of therapy that help the client best express themselves. My therapeutic approach is underpinned by humanistic, attachment-based and psychodynamic theories.
I also integrate yoga-based techniques, where appropriate, to help people to manage symptoms that ambush them in the moment, so that they feel more able to explore their root causes with a sense of safety and calm. Techniques such as breathwork, guided meditation and visualisation can help to also help to aid self-discovery when used alongside talking therapy.
How does your therapy style help with symptoms of chronic anxiety?
My approach to therapy is often particularly beneficial to people experiencing chronic anxiety because it equips people with techniques for immediate relief while they are on the path to long-term healing.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. I have particular expertise in working with people experiencing perinatal mental health issues, fertility issues, depression, anxiety and somatic distress.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I receive a deep sense of contentment and purpose from being able to help people to reconcile with issues and make positive change that will improve their lives.
What is less pleasant?
Regardless of the type of therapy, the real magic is in the relationship. I feel like I am one of those collages you sometimes see on advertising billboards where thousands of faces make up one face. Every client I’ve worked with has left their imprint upon me and, as such, parting is such sweet sorrow.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been with welldoing.org for seven months now and it is in a league of its own compared to other listings sites for therapists. Beyond listings, it curates thoughtful content about mental health and creates a space where people can get a real sense of who therapists are and how they work.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Psychologist and Buddhist proponent Tara Brach has some wise books as well as some helpful guided meditations and talks on her YouTube page. When yoga-based interventions have been particularly powerful for clients, I recommend these.
What you do for your own mental health?
I find many kinds of movement therapeutic, from running to a sweaty HIIT routine to meditative yoga; they all have their place for me. I also like to be in nature with my dog and find being at the coast very restorative.
You are a therapist in South East London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I live and work in SE25 and SE19 in South East London. It’s a place with lots of young families and I saw that lots of pregnant women and young mums were under enormous stress yet falling through the cracks when it came to mental health support.
I co-founded the Nurture Hub in response to this crucial gap in care for women at vulnerable stages of their lives. It provides women with pre- and post-natal mental health support.
As part of my work with the Nurture Hub, I provide counselling, and one-to-one yoga sessions for specific wellbeing issues, active birth sessions and traumatic birth debriefings. I also take part in a range of community projects, workshops and talks.
What’s your consultation room like?
I work in person at Omya Therapy Centre and at the Little Escape in Crystal Palace and also online in my cosy home therapy room. I also do walk and talk/ecotherapy in Crystal Palace park.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
My younger clients often talk about therapy like they talk about going to the gym or their physio and I really like that. To them, therapy is a workaday, sensible way of caring of working through difficulties and caring for their mental health. They don’t wait until they feel desperate and they certainly don’t think they are ‘broken’.
I wish everyone knew that they don’t have to wait until they feel broken before they come to therapy.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I started off my training with an open mind about where it would lead me. The course was a deep dive into my vulnerabilities in a way that I hadn’t anticipated. I left the training with a new-found peace and certainty about who I am and what I want from life.