Counselling and consulting for lawyers. Bringing psychotherapeutic awareness to legal practice. Online or face-to-face. Registered counsellor and former barrister.
Wellbeing in the legal profession
The legal profession is increasingly becoming collectively aware of what the International Bar Association has called a global wellbeing crisis amongst lawyers. Whilst lawyers can have incredibly satisfying, rewarding and interesting careers, it often comes at a cost. For example around one third of barristers have reported low levels of wellbeing and a similar number reported they weren’t coping well with their workloads. In the solicitors’ profession the experience of a recent mental health problem was reported by 48% respondents to the survey by the Junior Lawyers’ Division of the Law Society. As well as high workloads and difficult working cultures, some lawyers are also regularly exposed to clients’ accounts of traumatic events. All of this leads to higher risks of burnout, stress, vicarious trauma, problematic substance use and difficulties with relationships. This is not an easy profession to work in, and if you are feeling that you need support, you are not the only one feeling that way.
Therapy can provide a confidential, non-judgemental space for you to explore the impact the work has on your life.
In addition to being a BACP registered therapist, with experience of working with lawyers, I have other experiences that give me an insight into the dynamics of the practice of law. I myself was a barrister specialsing in family law (particularly child protection). I am also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster. This as allowed me to explore issues realting to lawyer wellbeing both through my teaching (on the psychology of legal practice) and my research. I have written on the regulation of lawyers and on the experiences of LGBT+ barristers, and my current research looks at clinical supervision for solicitors.
Therapy / Counselling
I provide therapy sessions for lawyers at any stage of their career, and from any of the legal professions. I bring an awareness of the cultures of legal practice and the issues that lawyers might be facing (although I hold this awareness lightly to allow your experience to take the focus). Counselling can be provided either face-to-face or online.
Consulting and training
In addition to providing therapy sessions for lawyers. I am also available to consult, to write, to speak at events or to deliver training. I have done this previously for a range of organisations including regulators, professional institutions and networks, and statutory bodies in the UK and elsewhere.
Whilst any work of this type is developed according to your requirements topics might include:
- Wellbeing for lawyers
- Tramua Informed legal practice
- Vicarious trauma
- the psychology of lawyer-client relationships
Resources for lawyer wellbeing
Wellbeing at the Bar : A site by the Bar Council, the Inns of Court, and the Institute of Barristers Clerks, which again provides a range of resources including advice, lists of organisations that can help and accounts from others.
Book: Vicarious Trauma in the Legal Profession : Joanna Fleck and Rachel Francis have produced an extremely useful resources for lawyers who deal with clients who have experienced trauma. It provides an explanation of how trauma affects lawyers as well as providing useful stragegies for both individuals, and organisations.
Fit for Law : A free online course that aims to promote psychologically and emotionally healthier ways of working in law.
Mental Health in the Legal Profession Toolkit : Part of the Mental Health at work website forcusing on the Legal profession
There are also further general resources elsewhere on this site.