How and/or why did you become a therapist?
I was working in an office in Central London when I first began training. It had often been suggested to me that I would make a good counsellor and I wanted to learn some new skills so I enrolled on an introductory course to see what it was all about. I quickly discovered that I had a huge passion for personal development and working with others to overcome their mental and emotional challenges. I continued studying out of pure enjoyment and satisfaction for learning about counselling for another year before deciding that I wanted to turn that passion into a career and make the commitment to go on to become fully trained and qualified.
What are the most rewarding aspects of being a therapist?
Watching people learn to trust themselves and their own instincts, being part of the process of someone overcoming obstacles they never felt possible and seeing the changes that clients experience in their lives and relationships. No day is ever the same as a therapist and I have long learned to “expect the unexpected”. It’s a huge privilege when people share their most private and difficult feelings with me and I take that honour and responsibility very seriously.
What’s unique or special in your background or approach to interpersonal relationships?
As much as it’s important to spend time focusing on our relationships and improving communication I think it’s essential to remember to nurture ourselves as individuals as well. We need time to ourselves to replenish and refresh so that we have enough energy to put into a relationship and accommodate the needs of the other person. Remember when you first met your partner you were attracted to THEM, who they were, what they did and what they stood for not just how they could serve you in a relationship (hopefully!).
What are your favourite or most interesting interpersonal relationship tips/advice?
1.Talk! 2.Listen! It sounds obvious but it works. And I don’t necessarily mean talking for hours every day about your relationship, I mean keeping the line of communication open so that when there are important things to talk about everyone feels they will be given the time, space and respect to do so. And if you really don’t want to talk, saying something like “I don’t want to talk right now because its too hard/I’m really exhausted/if I start talking I think I’ll break down so this isn’t the best time” is better than an aggressive rebuff if you can manage it! It helps the other person to feel respected and give them an idea of how you are feeling which means there may be some non-verbal way that they may be able to support you or initiate closeness whether that’s a hug or giving you some space.
What are some things about therapy that you want to increase public awareness about?
That it’s a positive way to take care of yourself rather than a sign of weakness. Most often people struggle on carrying intense burdens as they feel they ought to be able to deal with everything on their own. By the time we go to see a counsellor we have often reached crisis point and are completely burnt out but you don’t have to wait until you get to that point.
What are some of the biggest mistakes a therapist or patient can make?
For a therapist I think it would be making too many assumptions that you know what the clients experience is. Every individual processes and experiences things differently. For clients I’d say coming to therapy because you feel pressured to by someone else. It’s your journey and you have to be ready and willing to participate if there is going to be any real benefit.
I am based in the UK and work with adults and teenagers in Tring Hertfordshire and Aylesbury Buckinghamshire. I also provide online counselling by video, Messaging or email. I will also be offering Couples counselling sessions from Aug/Sept 2018. You can visit my website http://www.simoneayerscounselling.com for more information or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.