Meet the Therapist: Victoria Walford
Victoria Walford is a psychologist with EMDR training, based in central London
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Firstly, to help people lead a happy and fulfilling life. Secondly, to use my unique life experience (and subsequent learnings) in a truly valuable way (I healed myself from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a near fatal car accident). Thirdly, to work with people in a tangible capacity; and, lastly, psychotherapy is a field that will never tire, science will advance and it is our duty as therapists to blend it with experience, knowledge and passion to continually improve our therapeutic offering. Being a therapist is one of the most curiously rewarding and fun, yet responsible ways of living life.
Where did you train?
London South Bank University (Post Graduate psychology) and Worcester University (EDMR Psychotherapy under one of the world’s leading EMDR therapists). I also went out of my way to self-study from the great - Bessel Van der Kolke, John Bargh, and Antonio Damasio to name a few - these are the men who study implicit action/behaviour and our resulting conscious consequences of it. Bessel V.d.K. is the world’s authority on trauma.
What sort of people do you usually see?
Complex cases ... those who have been holding it together for years but suddenly can’t. Those who have mysteriously deep angst or sense of failure, those who have relationship troubles, trauma...
What do you like about being a therapist?
Working with people! I love helping people to feel empowered, to regain a sense of self or new confidence.
What is less pleasant?
The ebb and flow of therapy is challenging by nature. You have to want therapy - it isn’t easy. Many come to it looking for a quick solution. It isn’t always that straightforward...
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
A month or so? I love it.
Have you used the booking and payment system? And how do you find that?
Yes and I love it!
Have you joined the welldoing.org Therapist Community on Facebook? If so, how did you find it?
No... but I will.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I give out reading material that I have collated myself for different elements of therapy. I recommend books and apps for the interested. It’s case-dependent.
What you do for your own mental health?
I make sure that I don’t just work, that I follow my own passions outside of work (in my case these are cycling, hiking, art and being in nature). I also work with my energy patterns and try to stick with the natural ebb and flow because then I achieve more. Breaks are important. I change my tasks regularly so I tire less. And I drink tea because its my most comforting drink.
What’s your consultation room like?
I think they are lovely!I am located in a period red brick property in the heart of Central London. Both rooms are bright, facing South West and South East - just a few floors up which gives a sense of privacy (there is also lift access). They are warmly decorated with welcoming colours, hung pictures and other artistic curiosities. There are always fresh cut flowers placed in each room and of course the angle of the armchairs lean comfortably. Also, my clinic has access to a courtyard garden which I think is part of the therapeutic experience and provides the healing power of nature on our doorstep. In the summer clients tend to take five before returning to their busy urban life.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Therapy is not easy, but it is the most rewarding thing in the world; it's worth every urge in your body to run away from it! Facing your fears is like a new lease of life. Once you know how to do it, you can do it over and over again elsewhere. Life is easier after therapy, it flows and any goal is possible. For this reason therapy is exciting because it not only opens unforeseen doors, it also enables you to go through them.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That I am strong and able.