My journey as a trainee through to therapist and tutor began when I started training with Chrysalis Courses in 2008. Having worked in the NHS and with a psychology background I was used to working with people in a variety of ways, but what I wanted was to work therapeutically with people on a 1:1 basis; which led me to start this course as it would provide me with that skill. I signed up for the 3 year Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, with the knowledge that at the end I would be a professionally qualified therapist. I also liked the fact that it was held in the weekends so I could attend without much disruption to my day job or my personal life.
I remember feeling nervous on my way to the first class of the first module, with the usual thoughts going through my mind of not knowing what to expect, how the tutor would be and how many other students would be on the course. Hypnotherapy was something that I was unfamiliar with at that stage but was open to learning a new therapy to add to my skillset. By the end of the first day I felt better, the nervousness had settled and I had made new friends, feeling encouraged and motivated to work through the course.
During the rest of the course, certain topics were easy to grasp and some took a bit more time, and on the whole the tutors were supportive and understanding of this throughout the learning process. As I attended each class, engaged with others, addressing the topics taught, I noticed that as a person I was changing, which felt unusual at first but became more natural as the course went on. I also noticed my relationships with family and friends changing and their attitudes towards me, some slight, some drastic, and now on reflection I think for the greater good! After all it has helped me understand myself as well as others.
After my first year I started working with clients on and off as I still had my day job that took up most of my time. Initially I worked out of a room of mine, which I decorated in my style of what a “therapy room” should look like. I was anxious about working with my first “proper” client but it all went well which boosted my confidence levels.
After completing the 3 years of training, I decided to leave my day job and focus on working as a full-time therapist. I knew I was going to be taking a big risk but ultimately would be worth it, as it was something I had become passionate about.
As I left full-time employment to become self-employed, I became more aware of my responsibilities as a therapist and business person. So many things to think of, appropriate pricing of sessions, advertising, how to present myself, thinking of self-care as a therapist, a checklist of CPDs (Continuous Professional Development), supervision, financial security, self-employment tax, having time for a personal life, and the list goes on! One of the things I remember is that I wasn’t too good with taking money from clients at first, I felt uneasy, but soon I learned that I was running a business just like any other business person and charging money for my services was normal.
After practicing for a while I started to get a feel of which areas I would like to specialise in, therefore I decided to undergo further training in areas such as couples counselling, weight management, psychosexual dysfunctions, etc. This enabled me to deepen my knowledge in these fields, network with other therapists, and also expand my therapeutic practice.
So far, I have worked with the NHS and been a volunteer counsellor for MIND. I also have held seminars, delivered talks on certain topics to groups and organisations and have been on
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire talking about Hypnotherapy. All these have been very beneficial experiences to me as a therapist.
Training with Chrysalis Courses was a life changing experience for me, on a professional basis as well as on a personal journey and it has made me into the person I am today, a better, happier version of what I was. After 7 years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, I now have successful practices in Cambridge and Canary Wharf. I love my job; I enjoy what I do and cannot think of being in any other profession. It has been worth the risk that I took many years ago and now being a Chrysalis Courses tutor for Hypnotherapy and Counselling Skills adds to my growing portfolio as a therapist. It gives me great pleasure to be delivering the course that once began my journey as a therapist. I look forward to where this journey will lead me…