As a therapist and coach, I believe that life experience sometimes is almost as valuable as any therapy skill. I have bags of life experience because I have always worked, I have never turned my nose up at hard work.
At the age of 15 I was digging out a cellar by hand. When I was at Uni I worked, even though fees were free back then. I have worked in a tyre factory burning tyres, in a pub, petrol station, on a farm, and finally over 30 years at Greggs, moving from Baker to Area Manager to Production Manager and finally into Personnel and Training. I started learning therapies like NLP to help me as a trainer. So I’m just as happy chatting to labourers or company directors.
The other side to my life experience is that 20 years ago the combination of a highly unpleasant boss and extreme workload led to me getting depression. It was the full-on, horrible depression. But I came out of it, and that experience taught me that mental health is enormously valuable, and should be supported. That is principally why I decided to become a therapist, because I vividly remember the day when my depression lifted. When one of my clients leaves a session with a smile on their face and a spring in their step, that is the best feeling EVER 🙂