Christine Hopfgarten was awarded A PGDip in Psychodynamic Counselling in 2011. She got in touch to share her memories of her studies and what she’s up to now….
I fondly remember my studies at Brighton. I would be looking forward to Wednesdays, when, for two years, I would take the train down from London to Brighton in the morning and back again in the evening. The train being empty, looking at the countryside passing by, I had time to reflect – on myself, the course and everything I learnt as well as the interesting and quirky people I met on my course.
Our teachers and tutors at Brighton were excellent and so inspiring. Most of the training and courses I did afterwards did not compare when it came to the experience and dedication. Being believed in and engaged with on a very personal and in depth level has helped me to believe in myself and my abilities throughout my career.
After completing my Pg Dip in Psychodynamic Therapeutic Counselling, I qualified and gained accreditation in various other therapy models, including a PgDip in CBT, Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I have always been drawn to improving myself and the way I can offer therapy and treatment to my clients. I strive to always get better and I feel that learning about the human mind and emotions, to really understand others and help them with their suffering is something that takes a lot of practice, self-reflection and learning.
Professionally, I worked as a psychotherapist in the NHS, trained and learnt more about therapy in different settings and services, then worked for the Trauma and Counselling Service at the London Fire Brigade and worked in private practice in the City of London.
I have dedicated most of the last 4 years to my family and moved with my husband to the countryside where we tookon a huge house project and are raising our amazing two little boys. Nevertheless, I have continued working as a therapist privately, which has been immensely fulfilling. I feel grateful that working for myself has allowed me to choose how much time I can dedicate to my clients and my family.
A couple of years ago, a psychologist and previous colleague of mine, who had founded her own publishing company asked me to write a self-help book on loss and. Needless to say, I was honoured that she trusted in my abilities and knowledge. I have to admit that it was a huge task to take on – at least for me! More so than ever, I know I need to be especially proud for having written the book, which was published in November 21 grief (Finding Your Way Through Loss and Grief, https://www.infinitumtherapy.co.uk/books).
I am currently on maternity leave, but I am looking forward to getting back to working as a psychotherapist and dedicating more time to my passion and my career. There are many areas I am keen to work in and projects I would like to make happen!
My advice to students and recent graduates is to keep believing in yourself and be persistent. Finding and securing the right profession or job after graduating can be difficult and might involve lots of disappointments and feeling like you might never get there. Hang in there, be persistent and reflective on what is getting in your way and your hard work and talent will be recognised!
My website: https://www.infinitumtherapy.co.uk/