Meet the Therapist: Will Adolphy
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I realised I was at my best and most alive when supporting others. I also have an undeniable fascination with mental health. Forever intrigued by how people can live happier lives. And ultimately, I’ve struggled with severe trauma myself. Embarking on a journey of healing and seeing the shift that’s taken place in my own life has invigorated me to help others who seek the same. Who seek not only to end their excess suffering but to live a life full of more connection and harmony.
Where did you train?
I trained at University of East London on the Integrative Counselling and Coaching course.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
It’s counselling, psychotherapy, and coaching. Meaning that I will start with where the client is and how they got there. Spending as much time as needed in cleaning up the past. At some point in the process though the client will find themselves with energy to put towards their future. This is when the coaching is invaluable.
With my model we have so much freedom to go wherever you wish to. And I work very intuitively, catering my approach to each client. Do we want to work in a structured more focused way? Or shall we leave things more open? What is most beneficial will become clear as we work together.
Ultimately, you will have a space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours each week. You will have the opportunity to shift the way in which you relate to yourself and deepen your self-awareness.
How does a combination of therapy and coaching help with symptoms of anxiety?
The therapy-coaching model is fantastic for treating obsessive thinking/anxiety. I integrate CBT with mindfulness and coaching to create a treatment that allows us to spend time processing your emotions alongside a focus on behaviours/taking action.
It’s a balancing act of learning to be with the emotions we didn’t have the capacity to process in the past and then taking action to better regulate our nervous system and rewire the anxious mind.
There can be no change without action but also, we don’t want to bypass our emotions and jump to solutions.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I usually see individuals aged between 22-40 who are in a rut and need a space to organise their thoughts, gain clarity and carve out a path forward. This might be someone who is struggling with addiction, anxiety and feels stuck, lost and confused.
I see all genders and draw a lot of men to my practice as I specialise in men’s issues. This might include porn addiction, male depression and irritability or an emptiness in work.
Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?
In recent years I’ve noticed that therapy is more accepted generally as something people do. If someone is struggling the general advice is ‘have you seen a therapist?’. At times this can lead to a misalignment in expectations towards the role of a therapist. Society tends to regard therapy as either useless or magical. The truth is somewhere between and what I’ve come to realise is that you cannot do a single thing for your clients. You can hold the space for them but it’s them who steps into that space with an activeness to work with you. And it’s this meeting in the middle that defines the effectiveness of therapy.
I see therapy as a springboard. A place to go deep and feel comfort in the discomfort. A place to experience a level of empathy and compassion that one might not have felt before. And a place to explore how we relate to ourselves and others. What is uncovered in the space can then and must be taken into the wider world. It’s this act of taking the knowledge and applying it practically in our daily lives that allows us to develop new patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
What do you like about being a therapist?
How intuitive it is. It’s like going into a meditative, flow state where one is getting in touch with what feels alive in the space. We then do this dance that requires listening deeply to what is arising and then observing pathways forming in front of us. We then decide together which pathway to go down.
Each session unfolds like a mystery, and this utterly captivates me. Every time.
What is less pleasant?
Taking on other people’s stuff. Sometimes I find myself deeply impacted by what is happening with a client. And this can weigh heavy particularly if there is personal stuff happening for me at that time. I must be very aware of self-care and create boundaries that work for me and my clients. Otherwise, I can get overwhelmed.
How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I’ve suggested using ChatGPT before as a way to bounce ideas off and explore your thoughts via journal prompts.
I’ve suggested the Waking Up app for meditation.
Facing Codependence by Pia Melody
Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenburg
What you do for your own mental health?
I look at my life holistically: hobbies, relationship to self, family, friends, career, romance, and physical/mental health. I prioritise balance and keep an eye on each of those areas of my life to ensure I’m meeting my needs.
Each day I have a daily maintenance routine that helps me to self-regulate and keep connected to what is referred to in Internal Family Systems as ‘Self energy’. One way of thinking of the Self is that it’s the wisest most compassionate part of us. Some of the activities I do include meditation, journaling, lighting candles and exercising in some way.
I also love to connect with people, eat wholefoods and spend time in nature. This all keeps me able to access gratitude and to enjoy my life!
You are a therapist in St Leonards-on-sea. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
I work online mostly now. There are lots of creative people here though and this suits me greatly as I was an artistic director of a theatre company for seven years prior to training to be a therapist.
What’s your consultation room like?
I have a lovely cozy therapy space at home to see clients on the sea front. Or I head to the wellington centre in Hastings. This place has gorgeous rooms overlooking the sea.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
It’s not necessarily just a service to seek out when one is in a crisis mode. I see many clients that aren’t in a crisis they simply want to optimise their mental health or rather improve their mental fitness. This can elevate our wellbeing to a level that we didn’t even know existed. And it can better prepare us for when life does throw us challenges. So please know that you do not need to be in a crisis to see a therapist!
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That my thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and behaviours were all a learnt way of being in the world to survive and get by. And this means I can unlearn them. I now have a clearer sense of what is rooted in reality and what is rooted in my past.
This is incredibly empowering and freeing!