When I was training to become a therapist, I trained with a lot of people who were very different from me. So many were twice my age, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical, and middle class. They all become amazing friends – and amazing therapists! – but I always worried that I’d never find work because of who I was.
I started my official psychotherapy training, straight after my Psychology BSc, as a 21-year-old, fat, queer, non-binary person with a Northern accent and a penchant for eccentric clothes. I thought that, since I’m not a kindly middle-aged lady in a sensible cardigan and a beaded necklace, there wouldn’t be room for me.
I graduated with my MSc seven years later, fatter and queerer than ever before, and much more confident in who I am. I try to tone down my colourful clothes a little during sessions, but I’m not afraid to be quirky and queer and exactly who I am in front of my clients (who are often also quirky and queer, but not always).
What I mean to say is, don’t give up on your dreams because of who you are. There will always be someone out there looking for someone who’s exactly like you.
And, if you’re looking for a quirky, queer therapist, you know where to find me!
One Life, Hartlepool, TS24 7PW – and online.