Published in Blog by Bridget Wilkins on March 17th 2023
Bridget Wilkins, Joint Head of Psychosexual Training at Tavistock Relationships, the charity helping couples and individuals to have better relationships, explains why the charity’s internationally renowned training centre is life changing for the families supported, but also for its trainees...
I had not anticipated that the training I was choosing and the organisation I chose to invest in would also change my life in such a fundamental way.
When I took the decision to retrain as a couple therapist, I already knew I enjoyed meeting and working closely with people from my work as a television producer. I also knew I wanted to help people on a deeper level, and where possible, encourage positive changes in their lives. But I had not anticipated that the training I was choosing and the organisation I chose to invest in would also change my life in such a fundamental way.
There is a long held belief at Tavistock Relationships that a good therapist must work on themselves before they move on to helping others. So personal development in the form of therapy and self-reflection is as important as the theoretical study and supervised clinical hours of therapy delivered to clients. There is a limit to how much we can help others unless we have come to terms with our own relationship experiences - from family and friends to life partners both past and present. It is a training journey that is challenging but also, ultimately, life enhancing.
Having developed a programme about therapy for the BBC, I knew that Tavistock Relationships was considered to offer the ‘gold standard’ of couple therapy.
Having developed a programme about therapy for the BBC, I knew that Tavistock Relationships was considered to offer the ‘gold standard’ of couple therapy. I then discovered that the charity also offers clinical work and supervision to their students within the organisation, something other training centres can rarely provide. This made sense to me, as it meant that my personal and professional development would be safely held or ‘contained’ as therapists often say, within one organisation - and one that has been doing the same thing for their trainees for over decades. So I felt I could trust them with my vulnerability as I embarked on this new learning process.
I wanted to understand more about how emotional experiences impact both the mind and the body. For me, combining psychodynamic and psychosexual tools and techniques seemed the best way to effect long lasting change in my clients.
I first attended an open evening and then I did the three-month Foundation Course. Studying part-time alongside my television work, I went on to complete the three-year Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Couple and Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I then wanted to deepen my understanding of psychosexual issues, as I had seen the challenges that sexual difficulties can bring to relationships and individuals. I wanted to understand more about how emotional experiences impact both the mind and the body. For me, combining psychodynamic and psychosexual tools and techniques seemed the best way to effect long lasting change in my clients.
So I went on to train as a psychosexual therapist too. Our unique psychosexual courses pull together the different elements that impact a couple’s sexual relationship – both physical and psychological. We also consider broader issues, for example how society, culture, religion and education impacts us all in different ways.
For more information about couple and individual psychotherapy training at Tavistock Relationships, see our Counselling & Psychotherapy Training and Courses page.
Our next free open evening is Thursday 15 June 2023, 7pm to 8pm. At the online event, you’ll have the chance to meet course trainers as well as current students to hear about the study requirements, what it’s like to be a student at Tavistock Relationships and the post graduate career opportunities that are available. For more information see our Psychotherapy and Counselling Training Open Evenings page.