Letticia Banton, therapist and TR Together team member, explains how continuous professional development (CPD) helps to connect and support the therapist community.

I’ve recently completed a part-time doctorate course to train as a counselling psychologist and psychotherapist, and I’m now stepping into the world of psychotherapy as a professional rather than ‘trainee’.

While training as a therapist is an incredibly intense and time-consuming process that demands much of a person professionally and personally, all the way through you are ‘held’ in community, with the support of a training institution, training group, placement organisation, peers and supervisors.

Now I’ve left my training institution and placements behind, I suddenly feel isolated. A feeling that I know is also common among my peers.

I find myself looking for a ‘secure base’ as I know that Bowlby’s concept of a ‘secure base’ lies at the heart of any successful caregiving environment. I’m trying to navigate a working week where I get to do the one-to-one therapeutic work I’m passionate about, but also get the social connection and support I need.

I can’t help but notice the irony of being a therapist who offers my clients a space for relational contact, while at times feeling isolated and disconnected myself. And the ‘siloed’ feeling of private practice has been compounded for many therapists by the impact of the pandemic, with far more remote-based therapy and sessions working-from-home.

TR Together is Tavistock Relationship’s new continuing professional development (CPD) platform for therapists. Alongside my colleagues here at TR Together, I’m passionate about creating a space where therapists can really connect to discuss ideas and contemporary therapeutic issues, and to learn and grow as practitioners.

As therapists, we are people doing emotionally-intensive and often complex work. I believe that if we have the right professional holding, support and connection to provide us with a ‘secure base’, the more fully available we can provide a ‘secure base’ for our clients.