Adrian Tupper is an experienced qualified counsellor, registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. So why does he see counselling clients at Eyre Place? Before studying counselling and attaining his PgDip in 2007, Adrian was an engineer then a quantitative analyst in financial markets. One day, while walking across the Meadows, he had a Damascus moment that envisioned talking with and helping people. He did some research and realised that the role he’d been considering was counselling and psychotherapy. He signed up for and completed some training, and for several years continued to work part-time for a financial company while volunteering as a counsellor with PF Counselling.
When his work with the financial company came to an end, Adrian decided to focus solely on counselling. He already knew Glynis both as a friend and as his osteopath. They discussed his plans, and she offered him a practice room at Eyre Place. He has been here now for three years and has built up his practice to six clients on the one day a week he is here. He also sees clients at 61a Mayfield Road, and still volunteers at PF one morning a week.
Having a counselling service at an osteopathy clinic may seem unusual but it does make sense. Some clients prefer to see their counsellor in a clinical practice. It makes them feel more comfortable to have other people in the building and to feel supported by a structure which feels more than just their counsellor.
For Adrian, confidence, respect, and boundaries are essential principles that underpin his practice. He creates a nurturing space that is clean and ready. He is clear that the client should never have to worry about anything in relation to the space. This became especially relevant while working during Covid lockdown restrictions.
Adrian works with his clients on a partnership basis where his focus is on relationships, and the emotional or unconscious connection between him and his client. An ideal day, therefore, doesn’t necessarily require putting a smile on someone’s face. Rather, it’s something more unquantifiable, where an unconscious communication is made conscious. In this sense, Adrian facilitates this change, but he and his client do the work together. In the therapy, stress and evidence of past trauma suggest hidden overwhelming emotions, often shame, hurt, and guilt, which are often revealed through a client’s defences to these.
As with all his counselling work, Adrian continues to learn from his clients at Eyre Place. His professional development comes through both working with clients and professional supervision and CPD. Every client is unique, he is always working with the unknown, and as he says, every counsellor is a work in progress themselves.
Following the initial coronavirus lockdown, Adrian opened his practice again in June last year and has continued to provide face to face sessions all the way through the pandemic. A number of counsellors in the city did move online. However, while online counselling can work for some people, Adrian prefers face to face because therapy is more than just words. It’s the way people experience each other and, while there is no touch between therapist and client, there is certainly the sharing of physical space which he believes is a more transformative experience than anything an online experience can deliver. It’s also exposing for both client and therapist. While he might observe and reflect on a client’s excitement or discomfort, the client can equally see what a fidget he is and how he handles the situation when his card reader runs out of power while transacting a payment!
For Adrian, the best thing about being a counsellor is the quality of the relationships he has with his clients, a quality not normally experienced in day-to-day life. He can feel moved by his client and know they feel moved, in a safe and respectful space.
Adrian thinks his clients would probably describe him as unshockable, non-judgemental, and comfortable to be around. He was once described by one as the least scary male counsellor they could find on the Internet.
While Adrian is a relatively recent arrival at Eyre Place, he knows the clinic well, having been an osteopath patient both with Glynis, and Mathew before her when the practice was first set up. When he started his osteopathy treatment all those years ago, he never could have imagined that he would now be part of a journey that is twenty-one years old.
When Adrian isn’t providing counselling services, he runs, cycles, and, by his own admission, spends too much time watching YouTube videos on music theory and mathematics.
If you are thinking about counselling, but have never tried it, do consider contacting Adrian and giving it a try. We can all benefit from counselling.