Meet the Therapist: Stuart Nevill
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I was a Buddhist monk in the 90s and met quite a few Buddhist therapists. Then, in a remote mountain hermitage, I came across a book by Carl Jung, Symbols of the Unconscious. It blew my mind!
I've made a video to share my thoughts around Buddhism and psychoanalytic therapy here:
Where did you train?
I trained at The Arbours, a London-based training with roots in the anti-psychiatry movement headed by RD Laing. My training was in the British Psychoanalytic Tradition.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy involves an exploration of unconscious aspects of our lives: why we behave in ways we don’t understand; why we feel anxiety; why we long for something we can’t articulate; why we repeat certain types of behaviour or find ourselves repeatedly in similar situations.
The psychoanalytic approach also often involves talking about aspects of the relationship between client and therapist, as a tool for positive change.
How does psychoanalytic psychotherapy help?
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is about opening up to a new thought, getting unstuck, personal change, making something that was unconscious, conscious. It’s about re-finding ourselves, within familiar situations that feel maddening, external, bizarre, or unfair.
By talking about experiences that have been kept secret, or out of mind, we grow and develop new capacity to cope with difficulties and realise who we are and what we want.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see adults of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. Anxiety is a common experience, along with depressive feelings. In my experience, most people who come to therapy want someone on their side to help them understand what they are going through.
Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?
I have noticed an increase in clients talking about imposter syndrome and being affected personally by social issues such as discrimination and the abuse of power.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I find ‘being’ with my clients is a nourishing and energising experience.
What is less pleasant?
When I’m under the weather and/or my own tiredness impacts on sessions.
How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?
I’m quite new to Welldoing, but I’m impressed by the community support and CPD.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
What you do for your own mental health?
Get outdoors, exercise and find other opportunities not to think. I talk about my own difficulties.
I read about psychoanalysis and related fields including philosophy and critical theory.
You are a therapist in South West and Central London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I work with a wide variety of people. I offer concessionary rates, so I can work with people on lower incomes. I enjoy the variety and it feels important ethically that therapy is accessible.
What’s your consultation room like?
I work online and I also hire consulting rooms, which are very nicely decorated, quiet and feel containing.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That therapy is about personal development, not just a treatment of a mental health symptom.
Everyone experiences anxiety and depression at times.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
It’s important, but not pleasant, to have our fantasies frustrated.