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A little glimpse into the life of Counsellor, Marisa Sharp during lockdown

April 28th, 2020



·        My name is…………

Marisa Sharp



·        When did you start working at the WCHC? And what days do you work?


I started working at the end of December 2019.




·        What is your chosen therapy?


Group and Individual Psychotherapy




·        Why/How did you decide upon this therapy?


I had started a counselling training in Ipswich and was so impressed with the experiential group that I decided to train as a group analyst. My experience in Ipswich had an impact on me because of the sharing and insight exchanged between the group members. I was amazed by what could be held in a group situation and the capacity of everyone to gain by giving and receiving. Some people remained quite quiet, others worked at a very deep level but all felt changed by the experience at the end of the year.


We were also lucky in that the skilled facilitator of the group could say enough to keep us safe but not too much so that we could learn to work with and between each other.


A traditional Group Analytic group is a small group of up to 8 people plus the ‘Group Conductor’. It is termed a ‘slow open’ group, which means that a member can stay in the group for as long as they need, sometimes many years and then another person can take their place.


I feel privileged to be able to work long-term and to watch the developing relationships within the group and the understanding and growth this brings to each individual and to their relationships outside of the group.


I have also trained as an individual psychotherapist and at the moment I am working as such at the WCHC although I hope to run a group in the future in the beautiful office room.


  • Coronavirus lockdown, are you able to work at the moment? If not, what else have you been up to?


Yes, I am part of the core-team at the Group Therapy Centre in Cambridge. We are now on Zoom and I run my long-term group from there. We are also starting support groups for our referrals and support groups for care-home workers.


I am currently supporting individual patients via phone although Zoom is possible and am open to starting any online group that people have a need for from Staff support groups to people who are just lonely and need to connect.




·        How have you been keeping yourself busy staying at home? Any photos of what you have done?


Last week I decided to take a week off work which gave me my first chance in a long-time to reflect. At first there was a lot of cleaning, cooking, a return to painting and then I decided to just sit in the garden, taking it all in. The birds, the ants, bees, lichen and the light.


It was Cherry Blossom time, every year a smallish and rather weedy pair of trees produce a mass of pink and white blossom in our garden.

I looked up why the Japanese revere the cherry blossom,

“The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga.  The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often been associated with mortality and graceful and readily acceptance of destiny and karma”.


In my reflections about the changes we are all experiencing at the moment this felt helpful.


I have never taken a ‘selfie’ before but here is my first, taken to capture the moment.



·        Have you created your own lockdown cocktail yet?  If not, what ingredients would you use?


Not really, other than if I hit a ‘wall’ when it all feels unbearable, to hold in mind that this feeling will pass.




·        What do you miss the most at the moment?



I miss normality. Being able to go out when I want, see who I want and having the sense that the world will be the same as it has always been.



·        What is the first thing you will do when the coronavirus conditions are lifted?


Rush up to London to see my first two grandchildren who are only 8 and 10 weeks old.

I have only seen my grandson three times as a new-born and luckily although just as painful I spent a week with my granddaughter just before the lock-down. I can’t wait to hold them again as well as my son and daughter. Technology has been helpful but not the same.




My first selfie – enjoying the cherry blossom!







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