Around one in four of us will see a doctor for mental health reasons in this country. This figure ignores those who never seek health or who only visit complementary or alternative practitioners.
As an aromatherapist in Cambridge, I see many people with stress or anxiety problems, the majority of whom come under the, “worried well” category. I do not use this phrase in a pejorative sense. I see most of these people as making an active choice to look after their own mental health before things reach the stage of having to see a professional in the field.
I have an advantage working with these people in that for over 25 years I was a professional working in the mental health field. This means I can distinguish between those who I need to advise to see their GP for referral to mental health services and those whom I am happy to see without any such involvement. A few of these I would not be happy working with were it not for my training in the field.
I also see a few clients who are under the care of their GP for mental health reasons and I see my work as complementing that rather than being in opposition to it.
Some of those I see have been victims of abuse when children and are still suffering from the scars from this. It is not important for me to know the details of this though some clients feel it is important that I know about it. I let them set the pace for this and am very careful not to push them into telling me more or faster than they are comfortable with.
I see working with the links between the physical and psychological as one of the most important things I do. I am not registered as a psychotherapist but the insights that training has given me are not going to vanish simply because I am working in massage and aromatherapy. So while I may not be practising psychotherapy I do work hard at being supportive and helping my clients to make the best use of whatever other treatment they are receiving.
I will also consider referring any clients who I think may need it on to other therapists if I think they might benefit from this. (There are a number of hypnotherapists/psychotherapists/counsellors working from the same building as myself.