How I came to be a therapist

I first attended a group psychotherapy workshop in 1986. I went to this out of curiosity, wondering what it was all about, and was surprised to find the experience exciting, stimulating and not at all threatening. I began to go to group therapy on a regular basis and had individual therapy. I realised that psychotherapy could provide me with an opportunity to become much more aware of myself and of my behaviour and attitudes. I could question these, reassess them and consider whether I wanted to make changes. Although I was working with experienced psychotherapists who could help me in this process the responsibility for action was entirely mine. I am in charge of myself and can make decisions and choices. The idea that I could take myself seriously in this way was daunting and exciting at the same time. It made me realise that I have power and can choose to use it.

In my work as a GP I really enjoyed working with the whole person as opposed to only assessing their symptoms and illnesses. I felt frustrated by the lack of time I could give to each person. In 1990 I decided to do a one-year course in psychotherapy at Spectrum. I thought that this would help me in my work with patients and also that it would be of personal benefit. This was true and I then decided that I would continue training in order to eventually work as a psychotherapist. I began practising as a psychotherapist in 1998.

Copyright ©2004 M. O'Connell. All Rights Reserved.