Therapy is such a confidential situation, so not everyone gets to hear about the great work that is done behind closed doors. So that’s why we are putting together a series of short interviews with our therapists to feature the amazing work they do and a little about the people behind the job titles.
This month we are featuring our DBT therapist Kirsty Sellers. Here’s what she had to say:
Could you briefly tell me about yourself?
“Hello, my name is Kirsty. I am a Psychotherapist at Rutland House and specialise in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). I came into the psychotherapy profession 5 years ago, and I have completed a degree in Contemporary Relational Counselling, Level 3 training in DBT and am currently studying a Masters Degree in Contemporary Relationship Studies.”
What do you like doing in your free time?
“I enjoy doing open water swimming and I reading a lot of books!”
Why did you choose your career path?
“Well, the obvious answer is to help people, but I think it runs a bit deeper than that. I think I got into it because I was just really curious to know what makes us tick as people and why we behave the way we do. I think once I got an understanding of that, it naturally moved into helping other people understand themselves, too.”
If someone walks up to you on the street and asks for some advice on mental health, and you have about 1 minute to spare, what would you say?
“I’d definitely say practice mindfulness. I think if we can practice mindfulness, we have an opportunity to really get to know what is going on inside us. I don’t mean we have to sit on top of a mountain and be zen or anything like that, it’s something we can do at any time. Mindfulness can be as simple taking a moment to practice noticing and observing what is going on inside us at any given time. If we can do that, we can use our emotions and sensations as guides to help us understand what we need and how we might maintain good mental health.”
What is the objective of a psychotherapy session in your opinion?
“That very much comes down to the client and what their objectives are. The client is always going to set goals, but if you are asking generally, the main objective is to provide safe space for clients to figure out what challenges they have and to create a secure relationship where they can explore what they want, with no judgements.”
When do you think someone should consider psychotherapy?
“Yesterday! We should always consider it! In all seriousness, I think there’s loads of times when psychotherapy might be useful, such as when somebody is feeling stuck with something, or perhaps when they are struggling to regulate their emotions. Sometimes it can be appropriate when they’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to deal a specific trauma or event. I think people should consider it whenever they feel that it is the right step for them.”
How has the industry changed since you started?
“When I first started, it definitely wasn’t a common thing to do sessions online or on the phone. Now there’s more diverse ways of working, which can be really beneficial. In my opinion, I think the industry is moving forward in a more holistic way, as now lots of therapists work systemically, looking at a whole of somebody which includes all areas of their life and relationships, and also considers neurobiology. We no longer just consider people as just individuals, and embraces the idea that we are all connected.”
As a psychotherapist, how do you manage to be emotionally available to your clients?
“Selfcare in key. Managing your time and your needs, and doing your own work in therapy. I think you have to do a lot of your own personal work to be available to hold that space for someone else.”
Regarding to the previous question, do you think it may be a good idea for therapists to go to therapy as well?
“Yes, I would highly recommend it. I don’t think either clients or therapists necessarily need to have a massive trauma to work through, but I think if you truly want to understand what makes you tick and how you influence the therapeutic relationship, you can figure this out with your therapist.”
What do you like about your job?
“I think the best bit is when a client has discovered something new. An important insight that can literally change their lives, and you helped them to get to that point through a conversation that was useful to them. There’s no better feeling than that.”