Roland Oliver is a psychotherapist in South West London, Surrey and online

What attracted you to become a therapist? 

Part of my path towards working as a therapist was that of the 'wounded healer.' The wounding I've experienced has helped me resonate with my clients. 

Some of the attraction came from a place of reparation for the emotional safety and support I didn't receive during my own childhood upbringing. 

I now consider it a privilege and my life's calling to provide this healing and support to my clients. 


Where did you train? 

I trained and completed a Masters in Mindfulness-based Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute in Devon. This was was a rigorous and profoundly life-changing experience! 


Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?

I practise Mindfulness-Based Core Process Psychotherapy, which simply means bringing thoughts feelings and sensations into the present moment. 

During my childhood, I became conditioned to living my life on automatic, which – in my adulthood – caused me anxietydepressiondissociation, self-blame, self-criticism and ultimately suffering. 

Mindfulness-Based Core Process Psychotherapy helped me reconnect with myself more deeply through becoming aware (mindful) and processing what was causing my suffering. 

Awareness/mindfulness is already present within us, but through our life's conditioning we often lose touch with it. 

A therapeutic relationship can enable us to reconnect with our inherent healthy emotions and bodily sensations. Through our own healing, self-compassion and inner wisdom we can reconnect with ourselves and our joy, and re-engage with our lives. 

My clients have said: 

“I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

“I seem to be enjoying my life more now.” 

"I'm now more aware of my childhood conditioning which has helped me to understand why I created my own anxiety and suffering. This seems to have  helped me to dissipate the effects on me and my life."

“I'm more aware of what the sensations and feelings in my body mean, rather than being so overwhelmed by them.” 

 "I feel empowered to reengage in my life. I feel less anxious and depressed and more able to regulate these emotions when they do occur.” 

 "Clearer on who I am and what I want in my life.”

 I feel lighter, more fulfilled and happier for no particular reason.” 


How does mindfulness-based psychotherapy help with symptoms of developmental trauma? 

I am particularly interested in developmental trauma where emotional neglect, lack of safety, sexual assault and bullying have occurred. 

Trauma often manifests in anxiety, depression, dissociation, feelings of fear, shame, guilt, self-blame and self-criticism. 


What sort of people do you usually see?

Adults from 18 years upwards. People often come to therapy suffering through anxiety, depression, shame, guilt, self-criticism, mind fogginess, dissociation, addictions, relationship and work difficulties. 


Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?

I've noticed that there is much less stigma and embarrassment attached to going to counselling and therapy. What a relief that people of any age now feel more comfortable in addressing the things that are causing suffering in their lives. From my own experience, there is nothing harder than trying to deal with your own difficulties by yourself and getting the same unhelpful answers! 

There is more awareness around how, particularly childhood trauma (even during our gestation) can manifest in many symptoms including anxiety, depression, anger, addictions, hyper-vigilance, poor concentration and memory, dissociation and self-criticism. 


What do you like about being a therapist? 

For me, there is nothing better than experiencing a client make a small or a big 'shift' in their conscious awareness of how their life's conditioning is causing suffering in their lives. 

To witness this shift of consciousness, and to then experience a client transform their suffering, release trauma-fuelled symptoms and begin to free themselves up and engage more in life is so uplifting and rewarding


What is less pleasant? 

Experiencing my clients suffering, shame, guilt, self-criticism and dissociation. 


Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?

Yes, I often suggest (or give!) books to clients, such as The Body Keeps the ScoreWhy Love MattersMindfulness Skills for Trauma and PTSD, and Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. 

For meditation and mindfulness, the Headspace app is helpful. 


What you do for your own mental health?  

I find it helpful to resource myself by meditating, simple breathing practices, running, weight training and cricket. 


You are a therapist in Clapham  in London and Chipstead in Surrey. Whats your consultation room like? 

It's a comfortable, calm and spacious area. It's easily accessible by public transport. 


What do you wish people knew about therapy? 

It's not as scary as many of us may first think! Just being seen and acknowledged for the first time is often so helpful.

Our deepest wounding can come from not being provided with a sense of safety and love and our needs not being met during our upbringing. 

Therapy is not about advising the client what to do, but allowing a space for awareness/mindfulness, which promotes a deeper healing. 

Mindfulness helps us come into deeper relationship with what lies underneath our conditioned/habitual ways of reacting and responding. It can be very helpful to be with a therapist that can help support you through this healing process. 

What did you learn about yourself in therapy? 

I have learnt through my own therapy, that the anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and dissociation issues that I was experiencing can, through an awareness of my own thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations, be processed, healed and transformed. 

This was a profound, life-changing experience and I'm so glad I decided to through the process of therapy. 

Contact Roland here

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