The personal experience and professional practice of psychotherapy has been one of the defining motifs of my adult life. I was interested in psychotherapy (in that I started reading works by C G Jung) from an early age; I then unexpectedly ‘fell into’ it when, having never even heard of Gestalt therapy, I was invited to – and did – join a Women’s Gestalt group. I fell in love with a process which for the first time in my life seemed to give me a voice for myself, and though my training and orientation have changed and developed considerably over the decades, therapy itself has been a constant reference point in my life.
After two years of being in therapy groups, I started training as a Gestalt therapist, completing this in 1991. I began working on a small scale as a 1:1 therapist and groupworker alongside a consultancy role (as external supervisor/coach to managers initially in voluntary organisations). After a few years, feeling hungry for more professional input and development, I joined a Group Analytic training and completed my UKCP psychotherapy registration. Between GA, my psychodynamic supervisor and my own psychoanalyst, psychodynamics – especially the rich world of psychodynamic writing – have had a powerful impact on and in my practice: emotionally, imaginatively and self-reflectingly.
In the mid-2000’s, I took an important decision, and encouraged both by Rob and by Cathie I joined the corps of therapists practising at the Whole Works, where very early on I formed a strong connection with Susie. Given that one of the basic tenets of good psychotherapy practice is that it is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client which makes the biggest difference, it seems utterly right that the WW is a place where relationships between practitioners and with the place itself are so central. There is an ethos at the WW which anyone who stays working there will recognise and value: it supports richness, cross-fertilisation, creativity and camaraderie. I worked there for the last 12 or so years of my working life and found in it a home; so it was both a privilege and pleasure to be asked to join the Advisory Group and help support Rob and the good functioning of the centre as a whole.