I was led to the practice of psychotherapy through an increasing interest in people and how we organise our lives and relationships. This, together with my curiosity about my own history and development, inspired a desire to know more, and eventually to change my career so I could work with people in this way. I began my psychotherapy training with a three year course at the Ashburn Clinic in Dunedin, New Zealand, and followed this with five years with the Gestalt Institute of New Zealand (GINZ).
Prior to this I had worked as an independent midwife and my early work proved to be a gift as I saw, at close hand, the formation of new families, or the adjustments that are made in established families as they accommodate their new member. This is where we begin to make who we are in the world, and much of what happens during this early time will have a profound impact on the rest of life.
Generally I work with people who have encountered difficulties in their relationships or in the circumstances or events of their lives. These may include problems with intimacy, loss and bereavement, life transition and adjustment issues including divorce and separation, or illness and disability issues. I work with couples as well as with individuals who are experiencing conflict within the family although I do not work with the family as a whole. I am interested in people who are coping with disordered eating.
You may be struggling with depression or anxiety, even having to cope with panic attacks. You may feel yourself held back by issues of self esteem; perhaps you feel you are a shy person who is not confident in social situations, or you are trying to cope with being bullied in the workplace, at home or in your peer group.
I work with people who are experiencing trauma or trying to manage the after effects of trauma. Sometimes people are surprised to discover that a life which has seemed to them comparatively normal has led them to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or you may already know that you are managing the debilitating effects of this disorder.
My work is challenging but deeply satisfying. I love it. Sometimes people spend only a short time with me, looking for solutions to problems and ways to manage particular events, or sharing their sorrows and finding their way through grief. Others come for the longer term, exploring and reflecting on the way they are in the world, and looking for ways to effect deep and lasting change.
Barbara Chucher
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