Spotlight interview: Shikainah Champion-Samuel
Shikainah Champion-Samuel is an associate therapist with Surrey Therapy Practice and has sat down for an interview about what it is like to work at the practice and detailing for us the different services she offers.
1. Could you give us a quick self-introduction?
I am Shikainah, a psychological therapist. In addition to private practice, I am working in the NHS for London Borough of Sutton. I am with a Primary Care psychological therapies service (IAPT) for the last 12 years. Prior to this, for around 10 years, I worked in India. My core training is in Clinical Psychology and later in the UK, I specialised in evidence-based therapies like CBT, EMDR, BCT and NET.
Alongside my clinical work, I also lead on projects to make inroads into hard-to-reach Asian ethnic minority communities in London, designing and delivering trauma-focused interventions for Refugees and Asylum seekers, as well as advising charities and NHS trusts on delivering culturally responsive therapy and diversity in decision making.
When I am not working, I can be found savouring a good book with a cup of Earl Grey tea in hand; occasionally trying my hand at writing too. Somewhere between all this, I am also a wife and mum!
2. How did you start work with Surrey Therapy Practice?
After reaching a level of seniority in the NHS, like most of my colleagues, I was looking to get a good work-life balance by reducing some of my days in the NHS and doing private practice on select evenings. I was looking for something that was not too far from my home and found Surrey Therapy Practice in Banstead. It matched exactly what I was looking for and I contacted Louise and Emilie, who were most warm, welcoming, and thoroughly professional. After a physical tour of the clinic and a virtual interview with them both, before I knew it, I had begun here!
3. What is the work environment at Surrey Therapy Practice like?
I love the environment of the Practice! It is a perfectly calm and containing place for both therapist and client!
4. Would you recommend working at Surrey Therapy Practice to other therapists?
To other therapists considering working here, I would say, yes, please go for it. It’s a calming, fuss-free process and one has a relative degree of independence in the clinics. Of course, when one needs help, the practice managers are more than happy to step in. We also try to catch up virtually and sometimes in-person and it is good to know there is a bigger network one is part of.
5. In addition to CBT you offer three lesser-known but evidence-based therapies, EMDR, BCT and NET, could you describe for us what those are and for what cases those are used in?
EMDR is a powerful therapy that is based on our sleep cycles (most notably REM sleep). It is mainly used for healing from trauma and other anxiety disorders.
BCT is for treating couples experiencing conflict in their relationship. It is a framework that provides couples tools to enhance their skills in communication, problem-solving and joint decision-making. There is an additional optional component called ‘Sensate Focus’ which enables the couple to reconnect at an intimate level.
NET is geared for refugee/asylum-seeking population and those with a long history of multiple traumas. It is an autobiographical account of a person’s life guided by the therapist. By narrating their whole life story, the client does not need to choose one traumatic occurrence, rather, NET grants the client the freedom to reflect on their entire life, cultivating a feeling of personal identity.
6. Do you have any advice for people who want to apply to Surrey Therapy Practice?
I have often had clients comment very positively on the beautifully serene way the clinic has been done up. Both the quiet location of Banstead village and the calming atmosphere of the clinic is unique to our practice, which perhaps one may not get in the hustle and bustle of London. Even the waiting room with facility to make a hot drink, is a great way of making clients and their relatives feel comfortable as they ease into the surroundings.