An interview with…. Dr Katy Mitchell

We want to find out a bit more about our team!

Here, Lindsay-Jo speaks to her fellow Co-Director, Katy, about why she chose a career in Psychology.



Why did you want a career in Psychology?

I have to be honest, Psychology and I came together as something of an accident at first.  I’d originally applied to study Law at university, but met my (now) husband between sitting my prelims and my actual exams, and ended up not making the cut.  I got into Psychology through Clearing, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  People are inherently interesting, and there are lots of different areas of Psychology I enjoyed.  I did consider a career in academia and completed my PhD, but I felt that the career path for academics didn’t fit well with the other life goals I had, and so that helped me find direction in Clinical Psychology – a career where I could work clinically but still be involved in research.


Why did you choose to be a Clinical Psychologist?

Once I started getting towards the end of my undergraduate degree, I found myself struggling to decide between academia and Clinical Psychology – rather than having a top choice they felt equally balanced with their own pros and cons.  As I mentioned, a career in Clinical Psychology fit better with my other life goals, but also gave me the opportunity to develop a range of skills.  I love that I can work clinically, provide training and supervision, be involved in research and public engagement, all under the umbrella of one job!


If you hadn’t gone into Psychology, what other profession would you have chosen?

I always wanted to be a writer.  I haven’t quite given up on that yet, but the type of writing may have changed.  We’re working on a book at the moment that I’m really excited about!  It’s not the novel I’d imagined myself writing when I was younger (it’s a non-fiction book) but I’m still hopeful one day we’ll see our names on the front of something.


What is your specialist area, and why did you choose to specialise in this?

I have several areas of interest, though the one I work with most often is trauma.  Trauma doesn’t have to something big and awful (car accident, assault, etc.); in fact, most people have had difficult experiences in their past that have shaped the way they think about themselves.  Often, they are still carrying a weight of self-criticism or negative self-perception from these events that cloud their everyday life in ways they are not aware of.  Helping people work through these experiences is a real privilege.


What book do you most often recommend for clients?

That’s such a tricky one, as it’ll vary a lot depending on why we’re working together.  If we’re thinking about trauma though, I often recommend The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, as I find this is a really nice book for helping people who have experienced trauma to understand how it has impacted them physically as well as mentally, and to gain a better understanding of the difficulties they might be having.


Tell us something about yourself other than your work?

I can name all 151 of the original Pokémon 😉

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