4 March 2021
Where are they now?
Continuing our look at psychotherapists who have graduated from WPF Therapy, we caught up with Abi Canepa-Anson who qualified in 2012.
Before embarking on psychotherapy training at WPF Therapy I worked in Administration in various capacities for 15 years. It suited me because I am particularly good at planning and organising. So, I worked in events and later as an administration manager. I worked for a Quango for 8 years and for a multi-national for 7 years.
I have always been interested in people and always found myself in that place where I was trying to mediate. I have also always been a good listener. Initially I wanted to be a child psychotherapist. This desire was sparked when I answered an advertisement in The Guardian newspaper wanting professionals to mentor children in inner city London. I applied and was matched with a 10 year-old girl. I was single so I was available and had a lot of free time. The experience was fun but challenging. It took me back to my youth. Over time, I found I wasn’t able to help my mentee with deep seated behavioural issues, though they subsequently went on to college and university and did well. After the mentoring experience, I knew I wanted to retrain as a counsellor, the question was how to make that leap. This led me to the MSc. in Human Development.
After I completed the MSc. in Human Development I felt, for the first time in a long time, that I was doing something that contributed to my personal growth. It felt a lot easier from then on. Following my MSc I took time to work in a Women’s Refuge to gain some counselling experience. During that time, I became drawn to adult counselling even though I supported both mother and children at the refuge. I had a Diploma in Play Therapy, so I was able help the children using play to recreate their story.
In 2008, I applied to WPF Therapy for my clinical and theoretical training and was accepted to train as a psychodynamic psychotherapist. What I particularly appreciated about the WPF training was that the teaching, supervision and client work all took place at the same venue in London Bridge. I appreciated this as I was at the time working in a private psychiatric hospital plus attending therapy and appreciated having all my training under one roof. I was also fortunate to have some tutors who were passionate about their work and they made a lasting impact on me. I was fortunate also that my training group possessed a wealth of experience and knowledge that they shared. London Bridge is a buzzy location and I enjoyed our Friday evenings. After training as a group, we often went to the pub or for dinner. As a group we stayed connected after the training. This was a memorable part of my time at WPF.
I set up a private practice in Chancery Lane after completing my training at WPF Therapy. I added to my skills set and trained with Relate Institute as a Relationship Counsellor, trained with the Tavistock in Psychosexual Therapy and with the IGA (Institute of Group Analysis) as a supervisor. I continued in private practice and returned to WPF to a role as seminar leader teaching difference and diversity I did this for 2 years. I also taught on the supervision training for 2 years.
Lately, due to the current issues around Black Lives Matter movement I became interested in the psychology of racism. This led to some research and publications and workshops on what I see as a challenging issue for psychoanalysis. The psychic reality of the impact of racism on BAME is significant. I am an educator and offer workshops on the traumas of racism. Plus, I have set up a trauma group that aims to support BAME by offering a space to heal and grow.
Abi can be contacted via her website www.acatherapy.org. She has contributed articles to various publications and you can find them here: