Meet the Therapist: Sara Beaumont
What attracted you to become a therapist?
After working as airline cabin crew for many years I found I wanted to do something to help others and that provided different challenges. Now, after 19 years I am leaving that career to concentrate solely on counselling work.
Where did you train?
I completed my training at City College, Southampton. The diploma I qualified with is in association with Middlesex University. I’ve also completed volunteer training with victim support and a local sexual abuse service.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
As a person-centred counsellor I work with clients to discover what they find most helpful in coping with the issues they have come to counselling for. Person-centred counselling works from the viewpoint that the client is the expert and we are there to help guide them. This means that everyone’s therapy looks very different, as some people like to incorporate CBT type exercises to complete during and between sessions, some enjoy creative work and others prefer to use the time for talking. It means that counselling is a very collaborative process between myself and each client.
How does person-centred counselling help with the symptoms of anxiety?
I find that I work with a lot of people trying to manage anxiety. It is really important to not only build up coping mechanisms and ways to manage anxiety-provoking situations, but also to look at where the anxiety stems from and feelings around that situation or time in the client's life. Putting these two parts together helps to enable a long-term way for someone to have control of their anxiety and begin to see it lessen.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with individual adults of all ages and backgrounds.
What do you like about being a therapist?
Being with someone as they learn more about themselves and seeing the amazing positive impact this has on them and their life. It is a real honour to be allowed into some of the most hidden parts of someone and see the transformation they go through.
What is less pleasant?
Seeing people who are, at times, at their lowest is not easy.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been with welldoing.org for a few months now and really like the online booking system. Also having access to the Calm app and being able to share this with clients.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Whenever I feel there is a book or app or organisation that could be helpful to a client I will always make them aware of it. I encourage clients to use whatever resources are available to them to use alongside the time spent with me.
I suggest mindfulness apps such as Calm to help with self-care and sleep. I also ensure clients are aware of services such as The Samaritans, because as a counsellor I am unable to provide a crisis service.
What you do for your own mental health?
It can be very easy to be focused on others and forget our own mental wellbeing, so I make sure that I take time once a week (usually a Sunday) to have a slower day. This means reading, watching a film, going for a walk or seeing family and friends. It’s important to slow down sometimes to recharge the batteries as well as to have social interaction past the daily routines with others.
You are a therapist in Southampton. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
There are many counsellors in Southampton so I really appreciate when someone chooses to work with me and that I am the right person for them.
What’s your consultation room like?
I currently rent a room in a new wellness centre. The therapy rooms all have natural light and are simply decorated. It’s a really peaceful, calming space.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Therapy is not always easy but the rewards are huge!
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I learnt how freeing it is just to be able to say what you want and express how you really feel without someone giving you their opinion, or telling you that you can’t say something.
I also learnt how important it is to be allowed to express a range of emotions, something that was not hugely encouraged in my life before.