A day in the life of an online therapist

Xyla Digital Therapies’ is proud to work with a network of more than 80 excellent clinicians. Today we wanted to give you an insight into our valued network and introduce you to Tony Humphreys, an excellent psychological wellbeing practitioner who has supported hundreds of patients through his career.

Over to Tony, who has kindly shared his typical day…

Wake-up call

My day starts early! The alarm goes off at 04:45 (my wife calls it ‘Zen O’Clock’). I meditate and have done for about 20 years now. I take myself off into the spare room and sit for around 45mins. I guess you could call it mindfulness, but it’s a much older practice than the contemporary understanding of it.

Then, it’s coffee time – I know, do as I say and not as I do – but a coffee in the morning is a must. I usually take some time out then to read before doing some Qigong (think Tai Chi but all done on the spot rather than moving around). The house is starting to get busy now…kids, radio, planning the day ahead. My wife and I are both self-employed. I have my own private practice as an Integrative Counsellor (I trained in Humanistic Counselling in 2016 to complement my 10 years as a PWP).

Starting work

The kids head off to school and I am ready for the day ahead. I normally see my first patient around 8:30 or 9:00 each morning. After reading through any previous notes or referral documents, off we go! I tend to work several appointments back to back before having a break – that comes from working in the NHS, I guess, but it works that way for me. I deliver my sessions via secure video, audio or typing depending on the patient’s preference and it’s lovely to know you’re supporting the patient how they’re most comfortable too.

Winding down

My day usually winds down by either picking my son up from school or just taking some time out to do stuff for me. Clinical notes completed, letters and emails done…it’s time to get my motorcycle out and got for a ride over the Somerset Levels. It’s a great way to unwind from a busy day. There’s something about riding a big bike that blows the cobwebs off and refocuses me on my home and family.

When the kids are in bed, it’s time for snacks and Netflix…. before lights out just before 11pm to get ready to do it all again.

Finding the motivation

I am often asked what motivates me. It’s interesting but it all started after having a paradigm shift in my career path in my late thirties (I am 55 this year). I worked as a software developer back in the mid 90’s for a large American software company. It’s a long story but suffice to say that despite the money and travel, that particular life wasn’t cutting it for me. I walked away from that career and took a job in a Substance Misuse service where my salary was what I used to get as a bonus in the IT role. Honestly, though, the fact is that I have never looked back.

I love my work and in answer to the question “what motivates you”? the answer is simple really; I love seeing/hearing that people have recovered from whatever mental or emotional distress they initially presented with. That’s my motivation right there…people getting well and me being fortunate enough to help facilitate their improvement.

Taking the leap to go self-employed, starting my own practice and joining the Xyla team was scary but with the encouragement from my wife and friends, the support from my supervisor, I can honestly say it’s the best move I could have made.

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