Student Experiences


Nancy Whiting of Clear Minds writes:
I came to CCBT via its tutors, in that a friend told me in good faith that Maggie Chapman was a brilliant therapist. When I found out she and Avy ran the college, I knew I need look no further for my studies!

With a science background and a naturally inquisitive mind, I found the course material and both the teaching and the tutors themselves inspiring from beginning to end. We studied the basis of counselling through to hypnotherapy then moved on to study the REBT model in great detail. As it’s an integrative model we also learned about parts therapy, mindfulness and more (and I still continue to learn new techniques that complement the model). As a group we bonded and over that period my outlook on life changed dramatically. It’s a personal journey as much as it is a professional one.

Since I graduated I’ve been building up my own East London-based therapy business, Clear Minds. I’m interested in the beliefs that hold us back in life, whether it’s from eating well (I’m also a registered nutritionist), relaxing, or simply living the life we want to live. Our mind and body is inextricably linked, so ultimately it’s in our interests to cultivate a healthy mind, not just a healthy body.

Day to day I find my job fulfilling and fascinating, and as it’s always challenging I’m always learning. When I work with people, like them I learn and grow too, and to me that’s what life is all about.

Detective Inspector Ian Washington-Smith writes:
After a thirty year police career, I have investigated every kind of serious crime, working closely with Local Authorities, Social Services and the NHS. I am of the view that no single agency can effectively solve society’s problems, though together there is potential.

As a Detective Inspector, I currently run a Counter Corruption Unit, which focuses on police corruption. My team perhaps surprisingly, uses covert tactics to investigate police officers. You might ask, “are officers really that bad”? My colleagues attribute their conduct to “stupidity”. REBT understands the problem in a different way; it would call it behaviour at the ‘C’ in the ABC model of disturbance.

My parents came from the West Indies in the 1950’s. They saw England as the land of opportunity. Their children had to make the most of it. In 1985 after university, I joined the service, in a period when police forces were coming to terms with accepting difference. Some aspects of the change were problematic. I spent time supporting colleagues who could not make sense of their experiences. Some resigned. Some went to employment tribunal. So much suffering could have been avoided.

Our eyes become attuned to observing and making more sense of what we see. I would liken it to an empty street, through the lens of the perceptive eye becoming, full of activity. I naively thought I had seen it all. REBT brings a new dimension. Yet it makes things appear so obvious. You really do learn so much about yourself once you accept that you won’t ever stop learning.

Counselling, Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Diploma in CBT Mindfulness and Hypnosis, then an Advanced Course; I want to start the new career as a therapist when I finish the old one in September 2015. I foresee REBT becoming as significant as “modus-operandi”, so maybe the old will form part of the new.

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