A Conversation with Sinead Smith, Alumnus

What do you most value from your time at TPI on a personal/professional level?

For me it was the personal development and growth – how I have changed as a result and how I use my learnings every day from a personal and also a professional basis.

What was the most surprising thing about your training?

I didn’t realise the amount of personal processing I would go through as part of my psychotherapy training. There is a lot – in the big group and the small group! However, I learned throughout my training the importance of personal processing in becoming a very good psychotherapist.

Did you have a plan before you applied? If so, did you follow that plan?

I had half a plan. I thought perhaps after I finished my course, I could potentially go part time in my job so as to give myself the time to develop my psychotherapy practice. This has not gone to plan as I have decided to take a break from practicing psychotherapy. I realised trying to juggle a fulltime job and doing the MSc for the past four years had taken its toll on me and how I needed to take a break. I don’t regret my four years training in TPI at all as I am using my learnings every single day.

Why did you choose to train as a psychotherapist?

Mental health has always been part of my life as both my parents are psychiatric nurses. Positive mental health is something I am very passionate about and I felt psychotherapy was a way I could help others who were having difficulty.

What was your profession before training at TPI?

I have worked in the corporate world for the past 20 years in many different roles but for the past 10 years I have working as a Corporate Responsibility Manager in a mobile communications company and now a legal firm.

How did you enjoy the lectures during your training?

I really enjoyed them – very different to the lectures I experienced when I did my first degree in Limerick. Much more interactive and challenging. A lot of personal learning.

Are you still in touch with many of the other students from your class?

Yes I have made many friends from Turning Point and this is one of the things I value the most from my four years training. I have met some of the most amazing people and delighted that I can now call them my friends. I have learned so much from therm and they were a very important part of my personal growth.

What did you learn most about yourself at TPI?

There are two words that sum up my learnings from TPI – self awareness – leaning how to be aware of my feelings, thoughts, body, mind. Sounds very simple but so powerful. and – acceptance – accepting who I am and who I was

Why did you choose to train at TPI?

I was interested in doing psychotherapy but didn’t know where to start with the training. I saw an advertisement for the foundation course in TPI so I thought this would be a good starting point. opportunity to learn about psychotherapy. I loved the foundation course and decided to do the MSc. I did further research into the colleges but decided on Turning Point because of references, location and weekend lectures.