I am a final-year MSc student at Metanoia Institute, one of the leading institutions in the UK in humanistically oriented counselling and psychotherapy training.
Aside from my private practice, I have an honorary counselling placement at Putneymead Group Medical Practice in Putney which offers short-term counselling to NHS patients. My past placements include Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service, Kingston Women’s Centre and Kingston Hospital’s Staff Wellbeing Support.
I have regular supervision to support my clinical development and ensure professional and ethical practice.
I am also a traditional acupuncturist working in a busy pain clinic at Kingston Hospital. I studied acupuncture at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading and graduated in 2006.
I spent my first seven years in private practice while also working for the British Acupuncture Council as Safe Practice Officer, advising clinicians in all matters of safe acupuncture practice.
Since 2014, I have been working solely for the NHS in chronic pain management.
Journey to psychotherapy
My interest in talking therapies began not long after I set up in practice as an acupuncturist. I found that once patients started to relax, they began opening up about their lives and the things that caused them pain and anxiety.
I have always been curious about what creates an environment where healing takes place and, even as an acupuncturist, I do not think it is solely to do with needles. And so I became naturally more and more interested in what happens on an interpersonal level in the treatment room, and how this co-created environment can promote a sense of calm, help us gain more clarity and improve our physical and emotional wellbeing.
My journey to my current psychotherapy training has taken me via a number of different routes. I trained as a supervisor for acupuncturists and other health professionals in 2012 and, from there, my first step into talking therapies was my training and placement as a bereavement volunteer with Cruse Bereavement Support.
The most important experience which ultimately made me decide to embark on a formal psychotherapy training programme were the group supervision sessions I regularly attended, facilitated by an experienced therapist. These sessions became an essential source of support and of personal development and made me want to learn more.
©2021 Ulrike Wirth
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