Meet our tenant – Terry Gorman from Talking Therapy NI
Please introduce yourself: –
What is your business and when was it established?
Talking Therapy NI which was established in 2014
Why did you start your own business?
I had been working in the community and voluntary sector as a therapist since 2008 and one of the issues for me was that my job was always “funding dependent”. At the end of each financial year I was on tenterhooks waiting to find out if my post had been funded for another year. Whilst employed in the community and voluntary sector a colleague and I set up Talking Therapy NI as a “back up” in case our contracts were not renewed. Talking Therapy NI took off with queries from private clients willing to pay for therapy rather than go on to a waiting list. In 2017 I left the community and voluntary sector to be fully self employed as a counsellor/psychotherapist and group facilitator. I feel much more in control of my work and my financial stability and enjoy having the freedom to work in the way that benefits my client base rather than suits the funder.
Who would be your clientele?
My work is solely with adults from 18 years old looking to access one to one support for a range of issues that impact them. I support my clients with issues around low self esteem, relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, work related stress and conflict. I also do a lot of work around bereavement, risk of suicide and self harm. In recent years I have been promoting the group work programmes that I deliver to a wide range of agencies and organisations. I have delivered training to NI Hospice, to a number of Housing Associations and hope to be facilitating a number of workshops in Queens University Belfast in the next few months to support students with a range of issues.
What have been your hardest challenges and/or greatest achievements?
To date my hardest challenge has been getting the time in my diary to promote the business. I spend most of my time delivering the service and am very aware that I need to ensure the business grows and develops as I do and to keep looking for opportunities. A further challenge is in saying “no”. As a self employed therapist the emphasis is quite often on making sure I am financially stable and this sometimes comes at a cost to my family when I decide to work instead of finding the strength to say no to clients and to say yes to living and staying mentally well. A daily challenge that I think I am winning!
What’s next for your business?
I would like to concentrate on building the group facilitation and training side of my business. In my experience many of us wait until we become mentally unwell before we reach out for help. My hope would be that individuals and businesses become more aware of the importance of protecting our mental health rather than react when we become unwell. I would love to get out and about more delivering mental health awareness training to businesses so that they in turn can support their own staff. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
A fun fact? I am a big child at heart and have never grown up. I love to hide behind doors and in cupboards and jump out on people. I laugh like a child when I scare the living daylights of someone when I see the shock and fear on their face. And yes, I might need therapy for this at some stage!