Pat Capel is a therapist in Central London and Watford

What attracted you to become a therapist?

I originally trained in Counselling Psychology but ended up being a full-time classroom teacher. The opportunity arose for me to go back and retrain as a solution-focused therapist

Where did you train?

My original degree was taken at Rhodes and Stellenbosch universities in South Africa. I have retrained in the Human Givens model.

What sort of people do you usually see?

Being a teacher and with a strong educational background, most of my clients are teenagers.  But I also see adults.

What do you like about being a therapist?

The Human Givens model has a very clear, solution-focused protocol where the client and I set out clear and achievable goals within the first session. Success for the client then becomes very easy to measure and the change can be immediate. It is very satisfying to observe.

What is less pleasant?

There are times when I have had to realise that the client and I have reached the end of what we can achieve together. Not quite achieving what we have set out to achieve can be very disappointing. But it is also about acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses as therapists. We cannot be good at everything!

How long you’ve been with and what you think of us?

I love I find the articles really interesting as they are written by us – not some ivory tower academic. I have been with the website for about three years now and have managed to write three articles that have been published. I have also joined the closed Facebook group, and again it is a great resource.  

Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?

Oh yes! The Human Givens Institute has published an excellent range of self help books and I recommend these regularly. They are very accessible, even for older teens. I have also recommended the Calm App. As well as the Calm Harm app. 

What you do for your own mental health?

I have a brilliant peer group and supervisor.

You are a therapist in Central London and the Watford area. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?

To date, my Central London clients have been largely school focused where the school has recommended me to parents, staff and pupils. I am now hoping to expand that further. My Watford clients have been a mixture of adults and teenagers some referred by an organisation called Red Poppy.

What’s your consultation room like?

I work from home, in schools and have also just secured rooms in Central London.

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

That there is nothing to be scared of and that even one hour can make a huge difference.

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

Learning to face up to and accept my own failings and issues. We all have emotional baggage of some sort. It is normal. But it is how we deal with it that is important. But there are times, no matter how experienced we are as therapists, it is not always easy to practise on ourselves. We need someone else to do to us what we are able to do to others.