Case study

Counselling psychologist — Dr Nadia R Sadiq

Working as a counselling psychologist in private practice, Nadia has flexibility in how she works and where she uses her time and energy. Discover more about the direction her counselling career has taken

How did you get your job?

I completed the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of the West of England. During my training, and post-qualification, I worked within the community sector.

I decided to pursue my own path soon after graduating, due to the lack of mental health provision and uptake by ethnic minority populations, and now work as a self-employed counselling psychologist with my own business, Soul Space Psychological Counselling.

What's a typical day like?

I set my therapeutic space up for the day, respond to emails and then begin client sessions. These are carried out both face-to-face and via distance working.

Some evenings, and non-client days, are used for creating online psychoeducational content for my social media platform, which has allowed me to open doors and dialogues to mental health for thousands of individuals.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The flexibility and satisfaction of my work is a great luxury. Serving others, being alongside them in their struggles, seeing their resilience, their strengths and strife, is a real honour.  

What are the challenges?

Inevitably, such sensitive work has its challenges, particularly working independently.

Managing risks, lone-working, holding boundaries and uncertainty are all part of my day-to-day work. There are new experiences and new things to learn constantly. Challenges are opportunities to grow, after all.

In what way is your degree relevant?

I utilise my degree throughout everything I do, from client formulations and treatment plans to self-evaluating and growing my provision in new, informed ways. One of the greatest advantages of my training is the doors that it has opened.

What are your career ambitions?

My rigorous academic and scientific study, along with my own research and experience, has provided me with essential tools to make therapy more accessible to diverse communities.

My career is in its infancy yet, but working in private practice was my aspiration since the start of my training. I have developed as a person as well as a psychologist. I am excited to keep honing my expertise in the field of counselling psychology and aim to go in to academia at some point in the future.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into this job?

Being a counselling psychologist is something that I see not just as a job, but as encompassing a whole identity and way of being. If you feel pulled in this direction be prepared for transformation, know that the road will take resilience, and your passion will make this a worthwhile pursuit.

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