Meet the Therapist: Sophie MacLeod
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I started my training when I worked with international students coming to London for an exchange or 'study abroad' period. I used to organise the practicalities for them (visas, accommodation, etc.) but what I found more rewarding was helping them through the transition or being there for them when things went wrong or they felt they wanted to talk about something, anything. I started looking into different types of therapy but really gravitated towards Carl Rogers' person-centred relationship and the kindness he advocates. It seemed to me that he was interested in people being exactly who they are and I liked that.
Where did you train?
I did my integrative diploma at the University of East London, which is an accredited training course.
What sort of people do you usually see?
It varies quite a lot depending on the service but I see a lot of people with anxiety and existential doubts about their lives.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I think it is a real privilege to be able to listen to some very intimate things and have people trust you like that. It is constantly amazing to me how resilient people can be despite what might be going on for them.
What is less pleasant?
The practicalities! Discussing money, checking payments, organising a time that suits both of us, catching each other on the phone etc.
How long you've been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I joined welldoing.org near the end of 2017 so I am very new to it. It has been great so far. I think what really works is that therapists have to limit their listed specialities, which means clients can more easily find exactly what they are looking for. The diary system also means that clients only contact you when your availability and price matches theirs so there are fewer disappointments.
Have you used the booking and payment system?
Yes. I have had some hiccups with it to begin with. It seems very easy to use for the clients though and it is easy to see when a client has made their payment. Alice is super-helpful in sorting out any problems.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I quite often recommend resources and exercises, e.g. the resources on the Mind website or YouTube videos.
What do you do for your own mental health?
I do lots of exercise and have recently discovered acupuncture as a good stress reliever. I also read a lot and have a number of boxsets on the go to relax with.
What's your consultation room like?
I really love my room at Ongea (Ongea.co.uk). It is colourful and has character and I just really like the chairs! I am told it's easy to find as well.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I wish that people knew how freeing it can be just to be listened to. I also hope people know how common it is now. A lot of clients think their problems aren't big enough to be in therapy but if it is something that is bothering you, it is always worth talking about.