Member awarded Fellowship for services and support of the NACHP

James Hammond

It’s with great pleasure that we announce our Member Naomi Richardson has been awarded an NACHP Fellowship grade.

Naomi, who has a person-centred psychodynamic counselling practice in Kidderminster, was a key Member of the original NACHP Committee before it became a registered charity.

During her long-standing time on the Committee and her Membership, Naomi has provided a major contribution to the work of the NACHP, and has given us incredible support. Thank you, Naomi – and many congratulations!

We asked Naomi to tell us about her background, and here’s what she had to say:

‘I qualified with the NAHP in 1989. It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since then and I’m still standing…or rather, sitting here. As a current member of the NACHP, I’m still practising and still loving the work. However, I am now in my early 70s and think it may be time to begin a slow and hopefully, graceful retirement.

In my late 30s I decided that I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny and work for myself. I hoped to find a meaningful occupation that would both support others and form part of my own development. As a single parent this was challenging at times, but my training with the NAHP was a sound first step on that journey. It provided me with a solid, holistic foundation and a professional home where I felt I could belong.

I was fortunate to learn at the feet of some of the UK’s most experienced practitioners of that time, including Peter Blythe, Sue Washington, Anne Billings and Don Harrison. I also had the privilege of attending one of the very first NLP training courses held in the UK. These were exciting times.

I slowly, but surely, built my private practice. In the early years I augmented my income in a variety of ways; sometimes with project work and training, occasionally with part-time employment. This went well for me and I tried to ensure that any work I undertook truly engaged and motivated me. I worked for some years with disability organisations, such as Scope, Mencap and advocacy charities, developing a special interest in the emotional wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.

Over the years I have taken further training to develop my practise and undergone personal therapy, which I believe provides a fundamental part of our learning. What is it really like to be on the other side of the therapeutic relationship? What helps and what doesn’t?

These days I would probably describe my practice as eclectic and integrative. Each individual we meet in our work is unique and may require very different approaches; from the psychodynamic perspective to hypnotherapy, CBT, Mindfulness and everything else in-between…and of course, we all strive to be genuinely person-centred. If you are a practising therapist you will have gathered your own favoured approaches and ways of quickly developing that all-important healing relationship between therapist and client.

Much of the work I do today is as a third party provider to a local authority occupational health service. This involves supporting the authority’s employees, including teachers, social workers, managers and admin staff. I cannot begin to tell you how fascinating and rewarding this work is…we live in interesting times.

I would encourage anyone setting out to build a private practice, whether as a hypnotherapist, counsellor or holistic practitioner of any kind, to be determined, creative and flexible, but above all, very patient.

At the end of the day, my thirty year practice has been thoroughly satisfying and a great privilege. What more could any of us ask from our careers?’