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Growing pains

Growing pains Usually, the blogs that I write are my attempt to share something(s) that might prove helpful or insightful for anyone who might be contemplating seeking therapeutic support as well and supporting those of us who are knee-deep in our ‘work’ to figure out the impact of what has happened to us in our lives and how it’s shaped the way we behave now.

I also write because my clients and their experiences inspire me to share empirically supported (evidence-based) approaches to working with trauma and its effects because frankly there’s way too much B.S. out there, and whilst oftentimes harmless and well-meaning, sometimes it’s triggering and retraumatising.  From time to time these blogs include a little self-disclosure or personal perspective where it might be helpful or illustrative in some way, or if I think it’s useful to highlight that us therapists are human too and we also have stuff that we are (hopefully) dealing with in our own therapy! This week’s blog is a little more personal than most.  And that’s because I’m sharing some news about Thea Baker Wellbeing (TBW) and why I’ve taken the decisions behind that change – information that until now has only been shared by me personally in session with clients.  And weirdly, sitting here typing I’m super nervous because once I see it in black and white it will be super real.  * sigh * After a lot of thought and reflection, advice-seeking and soul-searching I’ve made the very difficult decision to close the Croydon office of TBW because in about two weeks I will start a PhD with Deakin University.  Doing a PhD has been a dream of mine since I was about 26 years old when I decided that there were two things I really wanted to achieve before I died.  The first I fulfilled almost 13 years ago when I moved half-way across the world to live and work in Australia.  The other was to get back into the world of academia where my little nerdy research brain is happiest and most fulfilled.  It might have taken 20 years (and two husbands, two children, moving to the other side of the world, a master’s degree, two businesses and a 10,000-word thesis) but I got there in the end!   I’m sharing this news for a few reasons: –

  • From a business perspective really need to communicate the Croydon closure as broadly as possible because it might impact people considering working with me out of that practice space (Consider this some kind of public service announcement)
  • It will coincide with some other changes like a website refresh, availability changes at Camberwell etc. (If you want to know more, please DM / email / call our Admin Team)
  • To encourage other people to set stretch goals in their lives – even if they’re going to take a bit of time to achieve them!
  • To take a minute to talk about the discomfort that comes from growing

Because good grief none of this has been easy!  Sure, researching a paper for publication and writing a 10,000-word thesis in spring last year, in addition to running TBW out of two locations and all the other professional development not to mention family stuff was quite a challenge.  But standing on the precipice of such a significant life change and having to take the really difficult decision to close an office and have to explain to so many clients who I’ve worked with for months (in some cases years) that I can no longer support them has been really very painful.  Change is painful.  It’s hard work and it requires actual effort.  New neural pathways have to be formed, stretched, and strengthened.  And change requires scaffolding and support – whilst you have to do the changing yourself, it does impact the people around you (also painful and problematic sometimes). And whilst I’m not the first therapist to close an office or person to start a PhD, I do want to take a minute to thank and acknowledge all the incredible clients that I have had the sheer privilege of working alongside over the last five or six years in the outer eastern suburbs.  You have taught me more than you probably realise and have inspired me beyond words.  You are all part of the reason why I’m committed to research in the mental health field – because we can always learn more about how to heal better and to do that, we need an evidence-base to practice from.  Thank you all.   If you want to explore change, we have a team of lovely therapists at Thea Baker Wellbeing and we have IMMEDIATE availability (just not Thea because she’s about to start a PhD!) – please reach out to us at: / 03 9077 8194.  

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