Meet the Therapist: Paul Owen Phillips
What attracted you to become a therapist?
My history. Counsellors helped me. They helped me understand my past, how it’s impacted me. I was closed off and quiet, but good at listening and am now empathetic. I have been able to hone those skills with training to help other people.
Where did you train?
I did Levels 1-3 at Cardiff and Vale College and then did my foundation degree and person-centred counselling degree at Bridgend College through the University of South Wales. I also have a Level 2 qualification with Cruse Bereavement.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I practise person-centred counselling; it's all about the client. They are the expert on themselves. I like to help people understand themselves, to give them a better perspective of who they are as a person and how decisions they have made have helped shape who they are today.
How does person-centred therapy help with resolving trauma?
Person-centred therapy helps clients with childhood trauma understand what has happened to them and then enables them to try and come to terms with it.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see any age over 18, both individual and couples
What do you like about being a therapist?
I like to help people. It makes me feel better when I can help people connect the dots and they get that lightbulb moment where it all makes sense.
What is less pleasant?
Poor communication from clients i.e. not turning up for sessions, not cancelling and not paying on time.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I really like the very unique way that welldoing.org aim to match clients to the best possible counsellor using the Personalised Matching Service. As someone who used counsellors before understanding counselling and counselling theory, I know the difficulties that clients can have finding the right therapist for them. I occasionally ended up working with counsellors who were not right for me, and this seems like a really good approach to tackle that issue.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Nature Sounds is a relaxation app that a lot of my clients find useful.
What you do for your own mental health?
I play video games, and spend time with family and friends.
You are a therapist in Vale of Glamorgan. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
I wouldn’t say there is anything distinct about clients from my area, because many clients travel from various areas to see me or they speak to me via video or phone call.
What’s your consultation room like?
Comfortable and warm for the client. I love my room, it really helps me create a safe environment.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That therapists are real people and have lives too.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Everything. Despite what happened in my past that made my life difficult at the times, it has shaped who I am as a person, and I like who I am.