Clinical Lead Psychotherapy Service

Simon Graham
Clinical Lead Psychotherapy service

I’ve just completed an assessment session this morning with someone who doesn’t like the shape of his nose. We established that the origin of his difficulties related to a chaotic childhood which manifests now as a lack of confidence. We agreed that he would attend analytic group sessions to explore how he feels in relation to others. A little later another man came in for therapy, as he'd  become a recluse after his partner died – we’ve worked together and he told me he’s started socialising again with hope for the future. It’s incredibly gratifying to help people change their lives.

I had my first viewing this morning of a video we made with people who use our personality disorder service. Watching people who thought they’d never leave hospital describe the impact of the new PD hub services and seeing how far they’ve come was a very moving experience.

Another role I have is organising the psychotherapy training for  psychiatric doctors in training. I enjoy seeing their therapy skills develop and look to share my passion for psychotherapy with others. Traditionally, psychiatric practice has leant towards the medical one,  but I strongly believe  it’s just as important to know what’s going on in someone’s mind from a psychological perspective. To help with this, training as a therapist if extensive and I had six years of therapy myself – as part of this formal training – if you understand how your mind works it helps you understand others!

At times work can be very challenging, trying to understand someone whose behaviour is so different from your own, but I try to remember that it’s almost always the result of stresses and trauma - I try to hold onto the fact that that person is doing the best they can at this moment.

It’s crucial to keep a good work life balance – this year I’m transforming my garden. If I wasn’t a psychiatrist I’d love to be a gardener…it’s all about growing.