Transitioning from author to counsellor

On this page I’m reflecting on career transition, and working as a therapist when you have a previous (and ongoing) life online. If you’d like to read more about how I work and what I can offer you, please go to London Central Counselling, my private practice website.

Career change

I’ve had a lifelong interest in mental health. I had also had a number of personal therapeutic experiences, both good and really not good, that made me want to work in this sector and give something back. Plus I felt a great deal of gratitude towards the NHS.

There are many benefits to changing career in the middle of your life. My English Literature degree and my subsequent writing career have enabled me to deepen my practice in a number of perhaps surprising ways. I have spent a long time looking at words and taking them apart. The meaning of the spoken word is just as significant and powerful as the word written down. Also, as time passes, you build up a certain amount of life experience that enables you to empathise with others and see increasing patterns in how humans interact with each other and their surroundings.

Therapy in a connected world

I’ve loved the internet since I got my first dial-up connection at home. As someone who has been published under my real name since my early 20s, a fair amount of me is on show to anyone who cares to look, and in the past I have written very frankly about some aspects of my life.

I’m well aware of the convention that therapists are supposed to be ‘blank screens’, and that their clients/patients must know nothing about them. There is potentially some value to this way of working, but it doesn’t really make sense in the networked society of the last 20 years. It also doesn’t make sense when you are working with small or minority communities.

The truth is, however little detail there is about a therapist online, you present an unspoken multitude of information to your client the moment they meet you face to face. Therapists cannot hide from their clients. I sense a strong resistance to technology in parts of the psychotherapy world, perhaps for this reason.