Before my last year in secondary school I became an intern on a closed psychiatric ward during my summer holidays. It was then, age 18, that I decided to become a psychotherapist. Of course, in hindsight, I did not really know what this really meant or what a psychotherapist actually did. However, talking and interacting with patients who were severely unwell and shadowing trained psychologists during their work on the ward was a fascinating experience and left me with a deep interest in other human beings and a desire to train and work as a psychotherapist.
I have been working in the mental health sector since 1999 and as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist since 2006. Before and during my first degree in psychology at the University of Glasgow, I worked for a year with young people with mental health issues in Israel and for five years with elderly people suffering from chronic mental health issues in Germany. After obtaining my degree from the University of Glasgow, I started my postgraduate training in Berlin to become a fully qualified Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist in 2011.
During my postgraduate training, I worked as Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist in training for five years at the DGVT (German Society for Behavioural Therapy) practice in Berlin seeing clients for individual therapy. I also worked at a therapeutic housing project for residential patients with psychosis and ran a weekly group for out-patients with psychosis at the Charité hospital in Berlin.
The postgraduate training I took in Berlin to become a fully qualified psychotherapist, was an extensive practical training that incorporated over 1,800 hours of supervised clinical work, over 600 hours of seminars and workshops and over 700 hours of closely supervised individual therapy sessions with clients suffering from various psychological disorders. It represents one of the most extensive and in-depth qualifications of its kind in the world.
Since moving back to Britain in 2011, I have been working as a permanent member of staff at the Nightingale Hospital, a private acute psychiatric hospital in London. I am working on the general psychiatry programme for adults, with in-patients, out-patients and day-patients individually and in groups. Groups include those focused on disorder-specific treatments as well as more process-oriented, interpersonal ones. I am treating patients with a wide range of psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and personality disorders.