I feel that I should provide more information and depth about me and my journey to becoming a therapist, as it has been a long, and life changing experience, with many difficult turns, moments of incredible self-realisation and lasting personal change and discovery.
My journey began in 2007 when I decided to start seeing a therapist. During my 7 years spent in therapy I looked into many aspects of my life, my thought processes, my struggles and my childhood in depth. I thought about my life at length, tried to understand what meaning it had and really questioned my life. I was searching for reasons behind my sadness and explanations to why I was struggling. I examined and thought closely about the friendships and relationships in my life and reconciled my own internal struggles and conflict. I knew that I was unhappy, isolated and low, and knew that something needed to change.
The entire journey of therapy was an incredibly difficult process, and not to be taken lightly. I refer to long-term therapy as ‘work’ because it is a difficult, painful but ultimately rewarding process. I think a misconception of long-term therapy, is that it is a self-indulgent process, but this opportunity to look at oneself in depth and with meaning, is a powerful and moving experience, which unfortunately, is not widely available to all.
After 3 years in therapy where I had gained a much greater understanding of myself, realised that I was not resigned to a life of loneliness, depression and underachievement. I found courage, strength and inner confidence which I never knew I had. I began a period of volunteering for a charity where I worked closely with people and other volunteers, it was this that made me realise i wished to start a training of my own. So in 2010 after 3years of intense personal therapyIn, I did some research and found out my local college offered an Introduction to Counselling Skills Course, which was 3 months long. I liked this training so much, that I continued at this college all the way until Degree Level, and was there a total of 4 and a half years. The entire process, like therapy, was life changing. I began to develop a richer understanding of my interactions with others, and how my reactions, thoughts, feelings and ideas impacted upon others. My training also offered me the chance to look at closely at myself, my views and judgements, and actually recognise that i had a part to play in difficult interactions with people on my course. Realising how I impact upon others in a negative and positive way was crucial for my self-development. My training was one difficult, painful but also massively rewarding, and developed me as a person and a therapist hugely.
This is of course a digested, refined version of my story for the purposes of this blog, there are of course many more stories and experiences which i could share here, but I hope that the last few paragraphs give you an understanding of my journey to becoming a therapist, and shed some light on the difficult and life changing process it was for me. I feel my own understanding and personal experience of depression, isolation and sadness allow me to understand and empathise with others experiencing similar feelings. I would not like to say that all therapists experience such life changing experiences during their training, but it is certainly safe to say, that this type of training changes you in ways you were not expecting.
Training to become a therapist has been a fascinating, empowering and moving experience, and i am still learning, growing and developing within myself. What I am realising is, this journey is life long, and that that thought excites and interests me.