Kendra is an Occupational Therapist and joined the team in September 2019. We sat her down to learn more about her approach and role within Orri.
How long have you been a clinician for and what were you doing before Orri?
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2015 in South Africa where I worked in tertiary psychiatric care, eating disorders and private practice. My recent move to the UK (October 2018) began with a position as an Occupational Therapist at an Inpatient and Daycare Eating Disorder Unit.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy/discipline that you practice?
As an Occupational Therapist I was trained in the Biopsychosocial model – put simply, to look holistically at an individual, their environment and daily occupations to assess level of functioning and quality of life. Within this framework I opt for a client-centred approach to treatment; working alongside my clients to facilitate a therapeutic intervention that brings both a sense of autonomy and support into the areas of their lives and “doing” that they may need a little extra guidance and/or skill-building in.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I think one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role is getting to witness and stand alongside someone in their journey. It is both a humbling and awe-inspiring space to help an individual embrace what it means to be human and to, within this, build a life of mastery, autonomy – a sense of purpose and meaning.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
When engaging with someone therapeutically you step into a space of containment and guidance and it is exceptionally challenging to not get overwhelmed when you see pain and suffering. As a therapist I find it so important to remind myself that one’s therapeutic support comes in bearing witness & helping your client in their lived experience – not solving or healing or fixing.
What do you wish people knew about therapy/psychology?
I wish society would recognise the strength in vulnerability and being willing to be imperfectly human. I think everyone could benefit from allowing themselves to be open to learning about themselves.
What do you feel is most unique about Orri?
Orri is an exceptionally supportive place – facilitating care plans that are unique to each individual’s needs, desires, goals and resources. The enthusiasm, drive and kindness of every member of staff helps create a space so supportive for individual growth and change whilst championing exceptional therapy outcomes and care!
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
I am a big believer in prompting and prioritising safe spaces for self-care. I have the most phenomenal social support and an array of hobbies that I am lucky enough to “dip into” for my own mental and emotional “pick me ups”.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Be strong little Marshmallow” – I know it sounds a little quirky; but again – there is such strength in vulnerability!
Do you have a mental health hero?
The people I work with daily – it takes a lot of strength, energy and resilience to work on building a life you envision in having for yourself.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
There are people out there who genuinely care; find the strength to reach out and ask for help – it is one of the bravest and most life changing choices you could make.