This article was originally published in Psychologies Magazine in April 2013.
As a sociologist, I did some research on how our childhood affects our adult relationships, and that’s when my interest in couple relationships started. I realised that it’s important, not just to our own happiness but to our children too, and that good relationships can have very positive impacts and bad relationships can bring a lot of unhappiness.
Conducting the research involved talking to people, and made me realise I’d be more interested in working directly with people – which is how I first became interested in changing career. I looked around at courses and found Tavistock Relationships and that seemed perfect for me. At first I carried on working while I trained, then 4 years ago they offered me a post here. It is a very interesting place to work, I see couples regularly and also run our postgraduate training course in individual and couples therapy.
I don’t think you could do this job if you didn’t feel that it makes a difference. The element that was missing in my previous job was that sense of personal fulfilment. It’s difficult to get that combination of something that is intellectual and stretches you personally. Inevitably, as you begin to learn more, you learn more about your own development. The work has had a positive impact on me, and my relationships.
It’s important to me that I’m always learning more. I really like coming to work every day, earn quite well and like the work that I do. I also like that it’s something where your life experience and age count in your favour.
Julie Humphries is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist and Director of Studies. Before training at Tavistock Relationships, she was a senior lecturer in sociology, and researched and published in the areas of domestic violence and mental health for 16 years.