A DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY
Interview with Luke Williams, an Adminly Provider
We built Adminly to support wellness and healthcare providers with their unique needs as private practitioners and business owners. While developing this platform, we’ve had the honour of working with psychotherapists, Dharma practitioners, meditation teachers, Yoga instructors and other incredible professionals.
One such professional is Luke Williams, a UK registered psychotherapist specialised in a person-centred approach. Luke’s been part of the Adminly project since April 2022 and was happy to share with his Virtual Assistant a bit about himself, his practice and work with Metaprovide.
VA: Tell me a bit about yourself. Who are you? What services do you provide?
Luke Williams: I’m a psychotherapist and I use the person-centred approach. It aligns with my own understandings and philosophy, my values and the way that I like to interact and work with people. My job is to understand clients and give them more space to unpack their beliefs. So I try to help people unpack their loads.
Five years ago I became a UKCP registered psychotherapist and I’ve been a paid professional counsellor for about eight years now. At the moment I work in a private practice. I’m also a supervisor and work in schools, supervising teachers and headmasters. It’s a pretty stressful job.
VA: Why did you choose to be a psychotherapist?
LW: Which answer to give? (laughs). So many different reasons. When I was 22, I went into counselling myself, as a client, and found it really helpful. I always thought “this is something I’d like to do”. After having enough of the career I was in, I went to live in a Buddhist monastery for about 6 months. The rest of the year, I spent time in some other Buddhist monasteries, really reflecting on what I wanted to do.
My previous jobs did not seem interesting or very meaningful. So I spoke to a lot of people. When I asked my therapist, “do you feel this is something I could do?”, she said “of course you could. You would be good at this. Give it a go!”. That made me think “Why not? Why wait?”. I realised “I need a job where I can wake up everyday and feel helpful, in a way that feels meaningful to me.” And you know what? I just couldn’t think of anything else. It was a good fit, the only fit really.
VA: Do you still have a connection with Buddhism? Do you still practice?
LW: I used to practice twice a day and go on two or three retreats a year. It was a central part of my life. At the moment I meditate once a day, but it’s still pretty fundamental for me. The friends I made through my connections to Buddhism are very important. In both the way I navigate the world and my work, Buddhism plays a central role.
VA: What is person-centred psychotherapy and what differentiates it from other approaches?
LW: It’s different from other approaches, but sometimes it’s actually easier to say what it’s not. It’s not a set of techniques or an authority-led, expert-driven conversation. Nor is it the expertise that we have as person-centred psychotherapists. Instead, the focus is on creating a safe space where the clients can understand themselves. The word to describe it is “client-led”.
I truly believe that healing comes from the permission to be or feel as many parts of ourselves as possible. There’s something really powerful in understanding and accepting the way you are. Behaviours drop away with this acceptance. Person-centred psychotherapy helps change the foundation, the building blocks of understanding ourselves and our lives. Then change comes more organically. This approach is simple, but not easy.
VA: As human beings we can be very judgemental. How do you detach from biases in person-centred psychotherapy?
LW: For me, doing my job effectively means really understanding why clients are thinking and behaving in the way they are. Judgement doesn’t even come into this. If a client says something that is shocking, then I’ve got to be even more curious.
This is what I call “Naive Curiosity”, where I put Luke aside, and what Luke thinks he knows, to practice naivety. Instead of judging, I’m very curious about what the client is experiencing. When engaged in that process, there’s not much room for bias or assumptions.
VA: Why did you join MetaProvide?
LW: I spend almost all my time talking to people and engaging with people. This energy and time adds up, especially as I’m basically a one-man business. Dealing with business-related tasks…taxes, bookings, and all the admin work… can become quite lonely, like a one man band, as a psychotherapist. I realised it could be good to get support.
Bjorn (founder of MetaProvide) and I have been friends for a long time, so I trust his vision and integrity. My thinking was to support his project, which could potentially help me as well. Working with you (VA) on my business cards and website has proven valuable, considering I hadn’t gotten around to these tasks in 7 years! Thanks to your support and encouragement, plus the technical skills at MetaProvide, I get the opportunity to be more professional and do things I just couldn’t manage on my own.
VA: What is your experience with Metaprovide?
LW: It’s been really friendly, caring and thoughtful. This company’s trying to understand exactly what my needs are, not pushing to make a sale. With MetaProvide, it’s just very different, a different philosophy. You can feel the respect and care coming from a place of wanting to help, rather than make lots of money. It’s really nice to have regular contact with you (VA). Instead of just seeing clients, I get the chance to talk about my business. I feel you (VA) are my therapist for an hour every week. So far it’s been a really good product.