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Julie Duguid

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What inspired you to become a therapist?

Having reached my emotional rock bottom in my early 30s, I knew I needed to change my life for the better, no more excuses. Once I'd made the decision to change, I assumed the process would be easy, find out what to do and do it. Oh how I wish I'd found Human Givens sooner – I would have saved so much time and suffering! Whilst I languished on the NHS waiting list and lost all sense of myself on medications, I went back to my love of learning. Soon I became overwhelmed with all the various forms of mental well-being advice and support, my issues were complex and compounding and I struggled to find a therapist and therapeutic model which helped more than it confused.

It was a good friend who suggested I study psychology and become my own therapist and so my passion was ignited and my healing journey started.

Why did you choose the human givens approach?

I think I was seeing my 5th therapist when I eventually found the Human Givens approach. The lovely lady I was seeing at the time thought we'd had a good session when by the end of it we were sat together on a single mattress on the floor, two grown women – only I was cuddling a soft teddy and crying my eyes out in accute emotional pain. To me it was the equivalent of a surgeon opening someone up on an operating table, rummaging around in your insides, then after an hour, saying, "Well time's up, here put a plaster over that gaping wound and come back next week when I'll explore some more'. As the weeks went by, I became more and more depressed and my thoughts about living became bleaker and bleaker.

Around the same time, I remember sitting in a Human Givens seminar given by Joe Griffin and hearing about how some unhelpful therapy can actually cause more harm than good – as Joe explained why, I finally knew that that was what I had been experiencing. The Human Givens organising ideas just made so much sense – and the more I learned, the more it made sense. After that first seminar I knew the path forward and never went back to the mattress woman again!

Had you done any previous training?

Yes lots. I had done the first level of many different therapeutic models popular at that time, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), TA (Transactional Analysis), psychodynamic, Person centred etc. and was so excited when I found many of the same principles and elements within Human Givens, only it was presented in such a clear and solution-focused way.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I like being someone a person can trust, which in this modern world, can sometimes be hard to find. I like how it meets my need for purpose and meaning and being part of a community which is trying to heal the world and not harm it.

What sort of people do you usually see?

Currently I am doing a lot of work with The Red Poppy company and they are supporting the wellness services for the frontline organisations, so I am seeing a lot people who give tirelessly to others, but need some support of their own.

Do you provide online therapy sessions?

Yes, currently all my sessions are online.

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

I wish people knew how the right kind of therapy can help alleviate unnecessary suffering and that not one client has ever regretted the decision to get help!

I hope that one day mental health recovery and prevention is as easily discussed and supported as physical injury or illness is.

Do you use the human givens approach in another employment role?

No, I am very lucky to be able to dedicate my working hours to my therapy business, however I do also volunteer my time to supporting the Human Givens organisation, as I want to help as many people as possible know and understand the benefits of this approach to emotional health and clear thinking.

What do you do for your own self care?

So many things! However all of those things are focused on making sure I get both my physical and emotional needs met in balanced, healthy ways. Now I know what it is like to feel well, it makes it easier to continue to make those choices which help me stay that way.

What did you learn about yourself during your HG training?

Everything! I actually discovered my true self during my training, the parts of me I thought I didn't like, I learned how to view them differently and see the benefits of those traits and abilities, in the right circumstances of course. I have enjoyed the roller coaster ride it has been getting to know myself more and the pure joy of liking who I am and no longer needing to run away from my inner critics.

Final thoughts

I couldn't have got this far alone and you don't have to either. Even if you have not been able to resonate with me and my journey, please keep reading and find the Human Givens therapist you do resonate with, you won't regret it!


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SCoPEd - latest update

The six SCoPEd partners have published their latest update on the important work currently underway with regards to the SCoPEd framework implementation, governance and impact assessment.

Date posted: 14/02/2024