Meet the Therapist: Niloo Mersadi
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Since I was very young I’ve always found it natural and rewarding to really be with others with full presence and listen to their life stories and struggles but also hopes and dreams. Despite that, studying psychology was not my first path. Initially, I trained as an architect. After a few years I realised how fascinated I was by the human mind; I could also see how much being in therapy was offering those around me (including some of my family and friends). Through volunteering for a few mental health charity organisations and mentoring and befriending those with mental health difficulties and other life challenges, I found a deep sense of purpose, meaning and aspiration in becoming a psychotherapist.
Where did you train?
My latest training was at Regent’s University where I have completed the clinical component of doctorate in counselling psychology and I am in the process of submitting my doctoral thesis. Before that, I completed an MSc degree in developmental neuroscience and psychopathology (a course that was created through the collaboration between UCL and Yale University) and a BSc Honours degree in psychology at UCL.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practice?
My approach is client-centred, which means that I integrate the therapeutic modalities I have learned and am experienced in based on each clients’ needs and circumstances. I am particularly experienced in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and existential-phenomenological approach to psychotherapy. Through these approaches, I am able to help the clients find their inner resources for resilience and to get in touch with their values and a deeper sense of purpose.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see clients from various walks of life and circumstances. Most of my clients struggle with depression, anxiety and / or sexual / relational difficulties, among other difficulties. I also see clients who have lost touch with a sense of meaning and purpose in life and would like to find something more meaningful in their lives.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Seeing my clients find their inner resilience, transform old habits and heal their wounds is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a therapist for me.
What is less pleasant?
While I really value being self-employed and being in control of my own time, working independently as a therapist can occasionally feel isolating.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been welldoing.org since June 2018. I really enjoy being a part of this directory. The website is very user-friendly for both clients and therapists. The booking system is very efficient and makes everyone’s life easier! I also really value the regular emails and articles which contain useful information about common mental health issues. I have already recommended the website to my colleagues. I have recently joined the therapist community on Facebook and I am very much looking forward to contributing to the page and learning from others.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Yes, but it depends on the client and whenever appropriate I recommend various apps and resources about mindfulness practices and self-help CBT and ACT books.
What do you do for your own mental health?
I have been in therapy myself and benefitted immensely from that. I regularly practice yoga and meditation; I value spending quality time with friends and family. I also enjoy dancing, walking in nature with my dog and exercising.
You are a therapist in Hackney and the City. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
I very much enjoy working as a therapist in the City as well as Hackney. I have the opportunity to work clients from different backgrounds and walks of life, which allows me to gain valuable experiences and grow as a therapist.
What’s your consultation room like?
I have recently moved into a new office and have decorated the room myself and I have made sure that the room creates a sense of comfort and warmth, so that clients can feel at ease and comfortable, like entering into a small oasis in the middle of one of the busiest areas of London.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I wish more people knew that therapy can be for anyone and that you don’t have to have a severe mental health difficulty before reaching out for help, that from time to time anyone may need a non-judgemental and safe space to reflect upon and process life’s challenges.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Through my own personal therapy but also through working with clients, I have learned that there is always room for expansion and exploration. I’ve also learned that there is always room for learning and growth; that I can learn something from each client and our work together and grow as a result