An Interview with Dee Phillips, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Coach and Psychotherapist

We thought we would pose a few questions to Dee at The Therapy Rooms to find out how she came to be practising cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy.

How did you become a counsellor and psychotherapist?

My original career was in nursing, and becoming a counsellor was an accident, or some would call it fate. As a nurse, I was very interested in psychological health and wellbeing, as well as physical wellbeing, and this led me into a path of enquiry and curiosity about people and their problems. I have lots of experience in working within the NHS, charities and educational settings as a nurse, counsellor and manager and hold qualifications in all three disciplines as well as diplomas in Reflexology and Personal and Performance Coaching.

What do you enjoy about counselling and psychotherapy?

Being a counsellor and psychotherapist is an honour. I share moments which range from extremely painful, to sometimes hilariously funny with my clients. The biggest thing that I enjoy about my work is that I see people grow and come out of their stuckness and move forward in their lives to fulfil their full potential.

Who comes to see you for CBT and counselling?

I see individuals who sometimes just need a few sessions to overcome a simple problem, to individuals who might have extreme childhood traumas, issues, or baggage that they cannot shake off, and they do not want to share with anyone around them. A lot of my work involves contracting with occupational health companies, Medical Legal Companies and HR departments. I often see people who are experiencing work-related stress and bullying and help them overcome their difficulties and function better in the workplace. Many of my clients have anxiety, fear of speaking out or depression and they need help alongside pharmacological treatments to move forward and gain some insight into their illness. If a person, or sometimes a team, is psychologically stuck or in distress, CBT and counselling can help them.

What happens during a typical treatment?

In any treatment, there is always a treatment plan. Some people have seen television programmes showing counsellors nodding their heads and not saying anything in therapy. However, this is not my style. A typical treatment session would involve a two-way discussion, and sometimes some form of sharing of a piece of theory, or a strategy so that the person who is receiving treatment gains more understanding. CBT counselling and psychotherapy is not just about listening and sitting silently. It is about approaching a problem in a collaborative, inquisitive way to find old patterns that can be changed, sometimes cured, sometimes tweaked, to move forward.

Give us your five top health and wellbeing tips?

  1. Listen to your inner voice – we all have an internal critical dialogue. When we have this critical dialogue it is sometimes very difficult to switch it off. If it continues, get professional help.

  2. Stay in the moment – try not to worry about tomorrow or what’s at the end of the road. Stay in the now and you will eliminate a lot of stress from your life.

  3. Share your knowledge – you may not realise it but you will have something that could help another person and no matter how small this might be share it with them, help them grow.

  4. Stay objective – If someone is doing you a wrong or trying to undermine you, let it go. It’s about their inability to feel powerful rather than your powerlessness.

  5. Be kind to yourself – not everyone is able to do this, but if you can tell yourself on a daily basis that you are okay, you are good enough, and you are capable, this can increase the sense of wellbeing.

What’s next for you?

I have been practising in the NHS and private practice for the past 10 years. My plan is to move some of this work towards the Pembrokeshire area, as I now live in

full time. I am hoping that local businesses, HR companies, and occupational health companies will not only use my services but the services of the other health professionals at The Therapy Rooms Pembrokeshire, and I would invite anyone who wants to work with us to please come and see us as we are open, sharing and provide an environment of support and camaraderie that helps our clients and our colleagues thrive. The Therapy Rooms is about working together and providing a service to help others live their lives in a more peaceful and healthy manner.

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