What attracted you to become a therapist?
After a long career in the music and events industry I felt it was time to do something new.
I wanted to do something that really helped people, that could really make a difference.
While struggling with some mental health issues of my own, I started seeing a therapist that really helped me to understand what was going on for me. At a point during the therapy I thought to myself this would be incredible useful for everybody, not just those struggling. Then a few years and a lot of research later I decided to take the leap and started studying and training.
Where did you train?
I trained at City and Islington and had additional bereavement training with Caris Islington.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I practice integrative therapy. This means I integrate elements from different models, such as psychodynamic, person-centred, existential therapy, CBT and mindfulness. This allows me to use a range of styles and techniques to give the client the best possible service for them. For example if a client is suffering with anxiety I can help them to lessen their anxiety in the hear and now to be able to live more fully day to day and explore in depth the roots of their anxiety, where it comes from and help them discover a greater understanding of themselves and what their anxiety is trying to tell them.
I chose an Integrative model as I'm interested and drawn to serval aspects of different models. I also feel it gives the client more autonomy in therapy. If I'm a client I would like to have some tools to help me cope with my situation and I'd also like to understand why it is that I am the way I am. I feel my model provides this.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see a huge range of people. I work a lot with bereavement and this effects everyone at some point in their lives. My clients range from early 20s to late 60s from all different backgrounds. I also work a lot with angry, anxiety and depression. At the moment I work with individuals but hope to introduce couples work in the future as I often work with relational difficulties.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I really appropriate how open and honest people can be. The trust that builds over a therapeutic relationship. How people really let me into their lives, often telling me things they have never told another human being. It is a really privilege and one that I hold with great care.
I also like seeing a person grow and become more in touch with themselves, seeing the change, not only in them, but also in how they live their life, getting so much more from living.
What is less pleasant?
Ending. After spending so much time with someone and getting to know them very well and at such a deep level it can be hard to say goodbye.
A client once said to me
'It seems strange to deliberately end a healthy and productive relationship...but I understand why.'
I think that sums it up. Ending is a important and useful part of the therapy process.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I've actually only been on welldoing.org for a little over a month and am using the booking system. I like that all the counsellors and therapists are verified and that if they wish the clients can use a questionnaire to help narrow down their search and find a therapist that suits their needs.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I do. In fact I review books in my blog on my website that I think might be useful for clients and therapists alike. Check it out here.
What you do for your own mental health?
Outside of my own personal therapy and supervision, I practice mindfulness and just recently completed an eight week Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course which was incredibly informative. I also like to do indoor rock climbing which helps keep me in shape physical and also helps keep me in shape mentally. It's amazing how much smaller all the problems running around in my head become when I'm focused on holding on to the wall 10 metres in the air desperately trying not to fall off and make it to the next hold.
You are a therapist in Holborn and Chancery Lane, London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
London is an incredibly diverse city.
One of the reasons I chose to practise in Holborn is it is relatively easy to get to (in London terms) so I don't think the area really defines the kind of clients I see as many people travel to see me. The area does have a lot of offices and I do see clients coming from work.
What’s your consultation room like?
It's warm and inviting, with three arm chairs, a couple of small tables, a hat stand and a few plants. I really like practising there.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That anyone can access therapy at any time. There is still a stigma surrounding mental health and therapy is often seen as something you do when things are really bad. Therapy is incredibly helpful at any time and can help with personal development, building resilience, self understanding and living a fully life. I'd like us to get to a point where looking after your mental health is seen in the same way as looking after your physical health.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I learnt so much. I learnt why I react in certain ways to certain situations. I learnt how my past especially childhood influences how I am in the present. I learnt to form stronger more meaningful relationships. I learnt to understand and forgive myself. I learnt how to be more authentic and truer to myself. I learnt to let go and I learnt to hold on...the list goes on...