By Olivia Preston
As the cost of living rises, it is unsurprising that many people are feeling the pinch. As the Bank of England announces that living costs are to climb further still, people up and down the UK are becoming increasingly anxious. According to Luise Sargent, counsellor, and the founder of TherapyPoint, the best way to reduce anxiety is to feel in control.
Having honest conversations about money is important right now. Luise advises people to look at different ways of making money and selling things that are no longer needed, “this not only increases your bank balance but improves your self-worth”.
Luise is no stranger to dealing with difficult circumstances. In September 2020, amid the pandemic, she took the leap to start her own business in Harley Street. Luise has had to cope with setbacks, as many businesses have, but her passion for offering confidential therapy sessions and being her own boss was the driving force that made Therapy Point a reality.
Before the pandemic, using video calls as a way to facilitate therapy sessions was something of a rarity in Luise’s case, but she soon realised the great potential that this technology could have. “I wanted to offer different services to my clients who I knew needed me more than ever before, so I had to overcome my fears around using different platforms,” she says.
Determination has been key to the success of TherapyPoint. Using alternative methods of communication has allowed Luise to feel liberated in this new world of working, allowing her to connect with clients in Australia, Canada, Dubai and Europe. Luise says, “My first month in business, I had 9 clients but I persevered and have seen my business revenue increase month on month”.
Importance of caring for the mind
Luise believes that while most people recognise the importance of keeping fit and healthy, mental wellbeing is overlooked. “We understand the importance of eating a balanced diet and are much more mindful about our alcohol consumption (at times!) So why are some of us still neglecting our mental health?” Luise says.
If the past two years have shown society anything, it is that mental and physical health are very closely linked. Covid has definitely impacted the mental health of many people, with scores of people taking up more self-care activities during the lockdown, practices that are encouraged to continue as we emerge into our new normality.
Luise explains that self-care is not selfish. “It’s the most important thing you can ever do, and in turn looking after your mental health can benefit the people around you.” She says, “Becoming more self-aware is imperative to building better relationships with your loved ones and peers”.
It was always a dream for Luise to work on London’s world-renowned healthcare hub, Harley Street. She is filled with immense pride as she walks to her office that she has worked so hard for. She says, “It has always been the place I wanted to work, to strive for. Since qualifying as a counsellor back in 2014, it has always been my dream but for a long time, it was just that, a dream. But when I became fully self-employed I took it upon myself to turn my dream into a reality and I have worked incredibly hard for this to happen”.
What makes TherapyPoint so unique is its ethos of making the session completely centred around the client. Making sure the environment is safe and non-judgmental is very important to Luise, who had heard horror stories concerning the way clients had been treated by other professionals. “We strive to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Once the client feels relaxed, the real work can commence,” she says.
“At TherapyPoint, we pride ourselves with the knowledge that we love what we do, seeing the impact therapy can have on an individual is amazing. But seeing how the ripples of change can alter the relationships they have with family, friends and work colleagues is a game-changer.”
Luise wishes she had known the importance of surrounding herself with like-minded people before starting TherapyPoint, as she says that she would have had the courage to set up the business years ago.
Luise’s advice for women wanting to start their own business:
Go for it! You will have the doubters and the people saying, “I’m not sure this is a good idea.” But the biggest saboteur is normally yourself, so sort your head out! Mix with like-minded people: other women that want more out of life won’t knock you, they will support you!