Howard is a qualified and experienced UKCP therapist offering short and long-term therapy, usually practicing from the St Davids Wellbeing centre. In these strange times of COVID-19, he has moved his practice online. He’s trained in several different approaches, including C.B.T. (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy), Person-Centred Counselling, Humanistic and Psychoanalytic, and so can work in whichever way best suits you!
Here we catch up with Howard and learn more about his way of working, how he’s coping with our current circumstances and some strategies for maintaining mental health during lockdown.
What made you want to take the step to become a therapist?
Do you specialise in any issues in particular?
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of having therapy, but is feeling apprehensive?
How are you adjusting to our new circumstances, both personally and professionally?
Personally I feel privileged to have pleasant outdoor space that I can walk to easily and although I like to travel about I have taken the opportunity to be with myself and have some more relaxed time. A simple strategy for me has been to accept things I can’t change and focus my energy on those things that I can change.
I am lucky to have clients who have migrated easily to therapy online. Online therapy is definitely not quite the same as face-to-face therapy, but not necessarily inferior. Some people can feel less inhibited online as they are in their own home with no journey to make to and from the therapy room.
Do you have any advice for people struggling with their mental health during the lockdown?
There are several strategies that help people feel less stress, anxiety and depression:
- Making a routine seems to be the most important thing to give people more of a feeling of stability.
- Some form of exercise, whether outside or inside is great for changing the way you feel, whether you’re bored, angry, fearful, depressed or anxious. There are numerous online classes in yoga, Pilates or Aerobics.
- Don’t pressurise yourself to achieve more than you want to, although you could use any extra time you have to study something you’ve always wanted to, but never had the time.
- Accept things you can’t change, it’s much less stressful!
- Reach out to others by phone or online, either to share your own worries and feelings and to support others – befriending a vulnerable person at this time will help both you and them.