My name is Kevin Smith, I am a Psychotherapist and would love to use this page to share some of the research I have done across different topics and skills across counselling and psychotherapy. There are some literary works and less formal pieces so hopefully something will be of interest to you.
The question I get asked quite a lot is "why counselling/psychotherapy", this is something that is asked by friends, family, even admission teams in colleges. So, why? I am not sure there is a standard answer I can give. I cannot say that I am 100% alturistic (is anyone??), but I do have a want to help people get trough some of the darkness they face and offer hope that things can change - Jung afterall said one of our main roles as counsellers is to inspire hope!
When in school I was not all too sure what I wanted to do, this was a theme for me through my twenties and early thirties. I started as a chef, I did this for a number of years before deciding that this was not the right career for me, however, it has stood me well and helped me to nourish myself and my partner for many years, as well as being able to calmly (for the most part) host christmas dinner for our families.
From here I moved into working retail, the advice offered me here was that I was taking a step back, but I was young and the job was fun, carefree and paid just enough for me to enjoy my social life, oh to be 19 again. This was great for a few years and I then moved into banking for a number of years. During this time I studied in the evening to get my HR degree. Working in the bank was overall pretty good, but alas, my heart was called overseas. So I travelled for a while and moved to Australia for a couple of years before returning home.
Returning home was pretty traumatic, it was a stark reminder that the lives of the people I loved moved on without me, I was no longer in "the loop" or part of the inner workings of peoples lives, they had moved on. I had too, it was now a different relationship and I learned (which I would re-learn again when training to be a therapist) that forming and nurturing relationships is fundemental for mental health, growth and well being.
Quickly, with my mothers voice in my ears I found work. It was great to be part of an organism again, wonderful to feel part of a community, however after a couple of years I began to experience workplace bullying for the first time. At the time I felt lost, isolated, hurt, confused, many of the feelings that my clients present with. Bullying causes trauma. Bullying is a power game and I was not winning, I am not sure anyone ever does. But after a year I decided to face this bully and went through formal channells. I commend anyone who has the strenght to do this as it is a terrifying ordeal to face. After this experience I moved company.
My experience in this company was fantastic initially. I worked here for 4 years before finally taking redundancy. In this company I learned a lot about people, triggers and myself. After the honeymoon period I changed managers, I got to see first hand the emotion behind the saying "people don't leave bad companies, they leave bad managers". I got to learn that people in high positions in companies dont always deserve them, as fair or as unfair as that is. I learned that maturity is only for those who are willing to chalenge themselves to change despite the cost, and finally, I leanrned, that if you do not value yourself, you in turn will not be valued. It was in my tenure in this company that I decided I needed a career change. So, I began searching for something that would suit me, I looked at Social care, Social work, Community programs and youth welfare, but none really caused me to commit. It was through a conversation with a colleague (thanks again Carol), who said that her friend was a wonderful psychotherapist, would I be interested in speaking with her. And so the journey began. I started at certificate level, just to taste the future, I was then hooked. I have finished my Honours Degree and, once I have rested, will start a masters. That is it in a nutshell.
I have set up this blog to provide information and insight into my workings and learnings, i'm hoping it will provide context to my work and allow people to see that there is help. We all need it from time to time and if doing this blog can help someone feel less isoalted then thats the win for me.