Day in the life of a Therapist

Patricia talks therapy, exercise and bees in a new day in the life feature


5 Jun 2024

As part of our day in the life series, therapist Patricia shares why therapy is rewarding, how she protects her mental fitness and her connection with bees... 

Sometimes people say to me ‘I couldn’t do your job! It would make me feel too sad hearing what people are struggling with…,’ 

That’s why therapy training is lengthy and it required me to have two years of therapy myself. You learn about self-care, about managing that transition between client sessions and being able to reset between them. One of the requirements of my professional body, the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists), is to have monthly clinical supervision to help ensure clinical competence and capacity to work effectively with clients.  

My work begins before I leave home. I switch on my phone to check messages before sending reminders to anyone with therapy appointments that day. I’ll get my diary out, offering any available slots to someone I’ve been looking for an appointment for. As I work part-time, I try to maximize my time as much as possible and fill my schedule of available appointments.  

I always go into a quiet office for my work, as this is essential for holding these sessions in a calm space. Once I'm at a Squared office, I'm usually straight into therapy appointments. Therapy sessions may be face to face, on the phone or online depending on what the client feels more comfortable with. Appointments are scheduled to last an hour, though sometimes it may be shorter, especially if it’s on the phone.  

A customer who wishes to continue therapy after an initial meeting will be given a weekly slot at the same time each week. Up to 12 therapy sessions are offered initially, though of course sometimes less are needed. It is a huge privilege to work as a therapist, when people trust me with their stories and challenges: if something we can work on in our therapy sessions helps them, that is extremely rewarding to see. 

I schedule my day into appointment times, so much so that it feels odd if I have a gap between sessions. In any other available time during the day I catch up with admin, process any new referrals from the Homes team and write up any confidential notes (that only I can access). Sometimes there is a letter I need to write, for example to confirm that a customer is attending therapy, or to notify their GP of something that has come up in a therapy session and that we have agreed it would be useful to write to them about. 

What happens within a therapy session is of course confidential, but some of the issues that often bring people to therapy are depression, anxiety, low mood, relationship breakdown, traumatic events, childhood issues that are causing distress, anger problems and irritability, high stress levels, low motivation that’s causing problems with day-to-day functioning, drink or drug related issues, bereavement, domestic violence and mental health disorders. This is not a complete list and sometimes someone is experiencing several of these at once.  

On occasions, just a space to talk to someone professionally trained in a confidential space that is separate from their day-to-day life, is all that is needed. I use a range of different therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness and trauma-focused therapy. As I always remind my clients, although I work for Squared, what is talked about in therapy is not shared with anyone else in the organisation unless it is agreed that it would be helpful or there is a safeguarding concern.  

What I love about working at Squared is firstly the opportunity to work with our customers in therapy, to help them improve their lives or reduce their emotional suffering where possible. I also cannot go any further before mentioning my wonderful colleagues, who are a cheerful and friendly bunch. At the heart of it all is the shared focus on inspiring people’s lives and a wish to support our customers in moving forward, whatever that might look like in each individual case.  

Beyond Squared I’m passionate about nature regeneration in this time of biodiversity decline, so you will find me in the summer months keeping an eye on a solitary bee nesting box (with observation panels) on a nearby bus shelter in the village where I live. I’m also a keen gardener, I also have my own mindfulness practice and enjoy doing exercise as well.  

Squared believe that everyone deserves the chance to improve their life and having therapy can be a great step on the way to do that. Inspiring lives comes in different forms and it’s amazing to see how just talking about something can have such a phenomenal impact.