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Meet the Team #1: Tom Bulpit

Tom Bulpit Southampton Counselling Practice Manager
Tom Bulpit - Practice Manager at Southampton Counselling Practice

Tom Bulpit MBACP - Practice Manager

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Hi there! I’m Tom Bulpit and I’m the Practice Manager here at Southampton Counselling Practice. I’m a Person-Centred Counsellor & Psychotherapist and have just hit my three year anniversary of being in active practice!

Are there any areas or client types you particularly work with or enjoying working with?

I work with all client types but I find working with young clients, especially young men, particularly rewarding - probably because I remember being a teenager myself and that’s when I first had my own counselling.

I’m probably younger than most counsellors out there and male therapists are still quite rare unfortunately, so I get to sit in quite a unique space in that regard. I spent 18 months working for No Limits (a young person’s charity in Southampton) and worked with a lot of young people there.

Why or what made you want to be a counsellor?

Having my own counselling as a teenager, and seven years working in support of HM Coastguard. I found that the experience of having my own therapy made me better at being able to really listen to people and make space for them. It feels good to be able to give back years later.

Why the Person Centred Approach?

Personally, I think Person-Centred therapy is paradoxically both the easiest and hardest type of therapy out there. Easy, because we have the belief that as therapists we aren’t the expert in our client’s life and it’s not for us to tell them what to do - hardest because it’s probably the most emotionally-focussed.

By not having the pressure of their therapist judging or trying to diagnose them, the client can open up much more, and a lot of very raw feelings come up. It’s a privilege to bear witness to, based in us respecting our client’s own choice and autonomy.

What has shaped your therapeutic practice the most?

Spending six months in a young person’s mental health crisis team during the height of the pandemic. Insane demand, very high risk cases, and very little staff or resources supporting us. In particular working with young people who had been on very long waiting lists just to get a maximum of six therapy sessions - it never felt right or good enough. It’s what led me to go into private practice instead and put the client in control of their therapy.

How do you look after your mental health?

I still have my own personal therapy to this day, and I have clinical supervision as well. This means I get at least an hour each week to stop and reflect on how I’m feeling, and that helps massively. I also enjoy walking, cooking and anything that allows me to unplug for a bit.

What does successful therapy look like?

When the client turns round to us and says they don’t need to see us any more. It can be very emotional actually, to see someone you’ve worked with go through so much with you and finally have the confidence to stand on their own two feet. It never fails to be inspiring.

What is your superpower?

Always finding a way to bite off more than I can chew! My biggest weakness by far is not taking enough breaks and slowing down. It’s something I know I will continue to work on for a long time yet - but that’s ok because we’re all allowed to be human and imperfect.

Tom sees all types of clients including adults, young people, couples and families. He works in-person and remotely. You can find his profile to contact him here.

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