I am by nature inclined to time travel. I can delve into the distant past, uncovering past mistakes, missed opportunities, regrets, and I can zoom forward to notions of the person I wish to be, in a future possibly unrealistically close to the present day. I can get lost, and I can get stuck. I can spend a lot of time in my head, and I used to spend a lot of time worrying about how to get out.
I first became interested in Counselling and Psychotherapy as a profession about five years ago. I grew up in a family that didn’t like to talk, and talking was one of favourite things! I also love to listen, and people would often tell me that I had a knack. So I started an evening course, learning about counselling skills, and looking at various different modes of therapy. I finished the course and found myself time travelling once again. The irony of my anxiety about how I was going to move forward with my career goal of working in mental health was not lost on me. I discovered The Albany Centre through the power of the internet, and by the end of my first visit through the big red door I felt I had found the place where I would learn to be the kind of mental health practitioner that I wanted to be.
Beginning my training with The Albany Centre was daunting. As is typical for me, my first concerns were that there were going to be many people who were much further along in their careers than I was. I was worried about not having as much to contribute. But very soon I realised that as long as I brought myself, and was willing to be present and to be curious, I didn’t need to impress anybody. I started living and working in the now. Gestalt is the therapy of the now. That, I think is what was first attracts me the most to the mode of therapy we’re all training in here at the Albany Centre.
I have always been an advocate of therapy, and I feel that everyone should have the opportunity to access it. You don’t have to be in crisis to seek therapy. I am in therapy myself, and can honestly say that a great deal of my most valuable learning has happened in therapy. My own therapy will help me to be a better therapist because it helps me to understand myself and how I relate to others. Understanding is a huge part of why I am interested in counselling and psychotherapy, and is why I truly believe that therapy is for everyone. You don’t have to have a laundry list of the things that keep you up at night in order to seek counselling. All you need is to bring yourself, and your curiosity.
This time last year, I had never had any therapy of my own, and I was only just aware of the work of The Albany Centre and Mosaic. This year, I am preparing to get more involved in the work of Mosaic counselling services. All of us who train at the Albany Centre, and who are involved in Mosaic services are supported through our continued professional training, through therapy and clinical supervision.
The Mosiac Counselling Service belongs to those of us training at the Albany Centre. It's chance for us to get real experience in running an efficent, affective counselling service; and for us to translate the knowledge, expertise and support we get through the Albany Centre into a key service to the community of St Albans and Hertfordshire.
Real experience is the key here, not just for myself and my colleagues who are training but for our service users. My own therapy has taught me that to bring 'me' is enough, and my hope is that those who experience Mosaic can feel that too. Whatever it is, big or small, if it is, then bring it!
Practitioners at Mosaic, along with carefully selected guest bloggers will be contributing to the Mosaic blog on a monthly basis, covering topics which our service seeks to support such as depression, anxiety, stress, life choices, relationships and trauma. I hope you’ll check back at the end of August to see what my colleagues have to say.