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  • Writer's pictureMandy Randall-Gavin

Welcome to my first Blog

If you’ve landed here, it means you’ve persevered, found me on my website or through the Counselling-Directory and clicked on my Blog page. Thank you so much for making it this far!

Life, for me, has been a mixed and truly wonderful and at times painful journey. Whatever I’ve achieved, whatever I’ve lost, the truth is that nothing stays the same for me. Ever. And that’s a good thing - keeps me on my toes. Another thing I’ve learned is that I never ‘arrive’. The Universe is constantly testing me, challenging me on the next stage of my life journey.

Just when I think I’ve got all the elements in my life sorted, be it relationships, the working on my health, the job role, whatever, someone rings a bell and shouts “All change!”

I believe Life is also about making the best of what you’ve got. One favourite saying of my Dad’s was, “when Life throws you lemons, make lemonade”. How we live our lives is a choice we make, whether consciously or unconsciously.

The good thing is that being able to make choices is available to everyone who has the capacity to think, and to change those choices if they don’t suit. That’s one of the reasons I chose to study Transactional Analysis (TA). I had the choice of which mode of Psychotherapy I wanted to be trained in. The Link Centre website made the choice for me, a ‘no-brainer’. TA says that everyone, without exception, is OK. When I was training in my Foundation year I found this a difficult tenet to grasp.

“What about murderers? Paedophiles? Criminals?” I’d ask.

Back would come the answer that whilst their behaviour was definitely not OK, they, as people, were OK.

Sometimes deciding that things needed to change in my life has required me to seek the support of a trained counsellor. During my clinical training, personal therapy was a weekly occurrence and a must. Providing the chemistry is right (you should always seek an introductory session with at least 3 therapists, to help you decide who you want to work with), it’s been a valuable experience every time! Counselling/Psychotherapy has supported me through challenging changes and, without fail, has moved me forward in positive ways.

I’ve felt hugely supported too. The experience of sharing deeply personal topics and checking things out with someone who isn’t there to judge, has felt, for me, enormously empowering. Don’t we all deserve a hand to hold at different stages of our lives? For our good mental health at least? Friends and relatives can’t always do this as they’re filtering what you choose to share with them through their own value and belief systems, which could leave you and them, feeling unsupported, judged, or worse still, shamed.

My career choices throughout my life have been colourful and varied. I’ve gone from professional musical theatre actor, to learning & development specialist for the corporate and professional services world. And now I’m setting up my Counselling and Psychotherapy private practice. I’m excited and nervous and am keen to get started.

This is a new career for me, although I’ve practised for 6 years, 5 of which have been at St Barnabas Hospice on a Saturday morning, offering Loss and Bereavement counselling.

So, if you’ve got challenges ahead that you want to check out, or even are experiencing right now, whether it’s people, relationships, work, health, be it your own or someone else’s, I’m here. I’m listening. Let’s work together to bring about the positive next stage of your life.

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