Meet the Therapist: Paul Weeden
What attracted you to become a therapist?
The journey of self-development and being able to do good in the world whist making a living.
Where did you train?
I’ve trained in many places but my main professional diploma was at The Centre for Personal & Professional Development in Hornsey, North London. More recently I finished a really interesting piece of professional development with 'Integration Training' called ‘The Embodied Facilitator Course’ which is a type of body work coaching programme ran in many places around the world and leads to working with the body on physical, psychological and emotional levels. If this sounds hard to understand perhaps these questions might help: where do you feel in your body when you think about this situation? What is that like for you, and what does it lead you to behave or respond like? Can you think of a more beneficial or helpful physical response? Is there something such as a type of activity that might help you develop some of the qualities you might need to sustain this new way of being?
What sort of people do you usually see?
I treat a lot of different people of all ages, but many of my client are professionals who are often finding it challenging to balance their professional and personal lives. This often shows up as depression or anxiety within them. This is why I’m feel so excited about the type of coaching that I am also offering along side my counselling practice, as well as integrating it more into my therapeutic work.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I learn so much about the world through my clients, it’s fascinating and very very rewarding most of the time.
What is less pleasant?
When people say they want my help to change something about their lives, and then for various reasons refuse to let me help them
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I’ve been on the welldoing.org site for a couple of years, I really like the lighter, brighter more positive and modern angle of this site. I think this comes from Louise’s publishing background. A lot of therapy-Pbased businesses can be very heavy and there can be a dullness alongside that heaviness for me.
Have you used the booking and payment system? And how do you find that?
Yes it has worked efficiently, most of the time!
Have you joined the welldoing.org Therapist Community on Facebook? If so, how did you find it?
No I haven’t yet, I tend to try to keep my Facebook activity which is quite politically motivated away from my therapy work and social media. Though with my new coaching business that is getting harder to maintain, so maybe I will hit the like button on there soon
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Yes I find with Amazon Prime and Kindle type devices these days it’s very easy for people to acquire new and insightful learning materials. I also quite frequently mention apps like Headspace and Binaural Beats as well.
What do you for your own mental health?
I do two different styles of martial arts, Wado Ryu is a more modern type of Karate which I’ve been involved with for about 18 years, and more recently I started Systema, an ancient Russian self defence system with many lifestyle benefits and a strong emphasis on breathing, relaxation, feelings, communication and posture. Martial arts help to keep me balanced and to find my courage and confidence when necessary. I also enjoy yoga, and making and performing music has always been a big part of my life.
What’s your consultation room like?
Simple, welcoming, easy to find and affordable so that I don’t need to keep pushing my prices up every six months.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That everyone needs new insightful self awareness to develop and grow, it’s not just for people with ‘problems’ everyone has difficulties with others at times and probably within themselves even more so.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That many of the things I was taught growing up were wrong and unhelpful for my development, some of the things I try to model and teach are better and more useful ways of being, but they require a lot of dedication and discipline to embed. Culturally we have lost our way as a society and we’ve lost many of the beneficial rights of passage into adulthood that our ancestors taught the younger generations. Most of us are not whole men or women and we are in need of raising our own awareness as to what is missing for us and how we are over compensating and covering up for these deficits in our lives.