My journey into becoming a Psychotherapist began after being referred by my GP during a very stressful period in my life. After having experienced counselling for the first time, I was totally inspired by the ability to make sense of my behaviours and thought processes, and was positively overwhelmed by the outcome of talking to a complete stranger in a professional setting about my problems. I came out of short-term therapy with a significant level of personal understanding and enlightenment that enabled me to uncover my passion for changing lives.
With no experience working directly with vulnerable people, I volunteered for Home-Start Greenwich for a few years, where I naturally developed my counselling skills through the role as a befriending family support worker. Now eligible for counselling training, my five year academic journey started with a Chrysalis Courses Professional Diploma. I completed my Psychotherapy training with a MA in Counselling at Goldsmiths University of London.
I am an Accredited member of The National Counselling Society (NCS); a Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); and a Directory member of the Black African Asian Therapy Network (BAATN).
I gained a lot of knowledge and experience volunteering for Mind in Croydon and One In Four along the way, and through additional Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training, my Private Practice has evolved from specialising in sexual trauma and domestic abuse to now developing a more racial and ethnically sensitive approach to trauma informed practice.
My culture-centric approach has proved popular and I feel inclined to develop a platform that can support others to practice in a similar way, to meet the needs of a wider community.
I have independently run a successful Private Practice for several years and have met some amazingly inspiring professionals; Dr Elaine Arnold, Dr Isha McKenzie-Mavinga, Fanny Brewster, Jacqui Dyer MBE, and Christiane Sanderson to name a few. I would love to meet Oprah Winfrey in this life time.. (Just putting it out to the universe!!)
With a background in management I am business minded and have a keen interest in strategic development and integration or services to enhance mental health provisions that particularly aim to improve access and outcomes for ethnic minorities. I also enjoy teaching and deliver Intercultural and Spiritually informed Mental Health training.
I have contributed to several National Health Service (NHS) Trust initiatives in South East London as a community representative. These include Chairing the first cohort of Lewisham's Clinical Commissioning Groups Public Reference Group (Lewisham CCG's PRG) and Co-establishing Lewisham's Independent Advisory Group (IAG) for South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM). I was also a guest speaker at Lewisham's Black Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Mental Health Summit 2018.
Having worked through and overcome my own mental health challenges, I have discovered that I have a natural ability to motivate and inspire people as I have been inspired. I've learnt how to make positive growth out of negative experiences and posses a level of esteem that I never imagined I would have.
"Change Renews The Mind - Mabadiliko Upya Akili"