Meet the Therapist: Susie Pinchin
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Through various careers I have worked with people at very traumatic times in their lives. I have always been humbled at the ability of the human spirit to be so resilient at times of great stress and they seemed to trust me with their feelings. I feel all my paths in life led me to where I am now.
Where did you train?
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I work integratively but predominantly person-centred which believes the client is the best expert on themselves. I also feel our early years have such an effect on our later years that psychodynamic theory is a tool I often bring out of my therapy ‘toolkit’. I like fluidity and to be able to go with what feels appropriate with individual clients.
The most important thing in my opinion however is the relationship between the therapist and client. When a positive therapeutic relationship is built the seeds of change in the client can be sown and then the ‘magic can happen’.
How does person-centred therapy help with symptoms of anxiety and depression?
When a client feels anxious and/or depressed they can often feel confused as to why they feel as they do. Person-centred therapy can allow the client to hear their own thoughts in a safe, non-judgemental space. When the client feels actively listened to with their words reflected back to them they can begin to make some sense of their feelings and gain some clarity as to how they might want to make positive changes.
In my work with young people who are often directed by adults in authority – parents, teachers, etc. – it could be one of the few times, if not the first, that they are able to say what they themselves think and find some of their true selves.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with clients with common mental health problems – anxiety, depression, stress etc., and grief and see people of different ages of all backgrounds.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I feel it is a great privilege when people allow me into their lives at times of great strain for them. I treat the role with great care and consideration.
What is less pleasant?
Facing the reality that life is so very hard for so many people. That life can just be hard, full stop.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org?
Only a few months.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
As a bookworm I could reel off a library sized list of reading material that I have found useful or been inspired by. I’m a traditional pen and paper girl and apps don’t have the same appeal to me.
What you do for your own mental health?
I live in London and Suffolk. I am fortunate enough that my husband and I enjoy the wonderful concert venues, arts and landmarks of the capital and all the hustle and bustle that go with it but can then go and walk along some of the most beautiful coastline in the country with the most beautiful beach and countryside on our doorstep.
The reconnection with nature restores me.
You are a therapist in London, Surrey and Suffolk. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
There is obviously a different pace of life between London and Suffolk and those different paces bring different expectations but people are people and I take as I find. I feel there are similarities and differences to be found everywhere and do not want to generalise.
What’s your consultation room like?
The three places I work from all have things in common….comfortable chairs, gentle lighting, and a sense of calm.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
It’s power! It can be very painful at times when faced with emotions we have often buried but with the pain can come enlightenment which brings strength.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That I had buried so much of my real self for too long in order to fit in and please others. I found the strength to rediscover me, the real me. I can accept my weaknesses, imperfections and vulnerabilities and am OK with some of them and continue to work on the others.