Why I Work In… is a regular feature where we ask people about their jobs and the industry they work in. This time it’s Laura Greenwood, a psychotherapist at Laura Greenwood Therapy.

Tell us a little bit about Laura Greenwood Therapy?

Laura Greenwood Therapy offers psychological assessment and intervention to anyone struggling with their mental health or wellbeing.

This is offered both online, and from our little clinic in Huddersfield town centre. Whilst we offer support to anyone struggling with a whole range of emotional difficulties and needs, our specialist areas are overcoming trauma, emotional regulation, and maternal mental health.  

As well as offering individual support, I deliver group psycho-educational and support sessions around motherhood and maternal mental health. I am super passionate about lifting the lid on the untold stories of motherhood, as I believe by doing so, we will reduce the rates of clinical perinatal mental health difficulties.

I share stories and support around topics such as maternal anxiety, mum rage, mum guilt, matrescence and the way our identity shifts as we move through motherhood.  

We also offer corporate wellbeing sessions, designed to support mothers to balance competing values of career and motherhood, liaising with employers and managers around how to best support their parent employees to retain talent.

Mothers are so hugely under-valued, which is incredible really as we are the nucleus of our society. Also, when a mother focuses on getting things done, it gets done! I believe if we support parents more effectively, in and out of the workplace, this hugely benefits our whole economy and society.  

And what’s your role – how would you describe your job to an alien?

Great question! In a nutshell, I help people by listening to them and talking to them.  

How long have you worked in this sector?

My first role in psychological wellbeing was during my university placement year in 2008. I worked as an assistant psychologist with older adults. I have been hooked on supporting people who need it, in as many ways as I possibly can, ever since. 

What skills make someone a good psychotherapist?

You have to be a really good active listener. What I mean by this is listening to what is being said, but also what is not being said.  Watching their body language, listening to their tone, noticing subtle changes in their demeanour, to be able to decipher what the person is trying to communicate. To listen without jumping in and trying to fix a person’s problem straight away. To validate and empathise with their struggle.  

It is a delicate balance and dance between active listening, asking good questions which gather information but also supports the person to really think a little deeper about things they may not have thought about before, and providing guidance.  

There are many styles of psychotherapist. We are unique in that way. But, in my opinion, it requires someone to be able to support others, without trying to jump in and rescue them. Even if you may really want to!

A good psychotherapist supports a client to recognise that they had the answers within them all along. They empower a person to recognise that ‘I can learn to manage my difficulties, and I do not need to be totally reliant on a therapist forever to do that.’

What’s your advice for people looking to get into your industry?

If it is something that you really want to do, stay committed. It is a very competitive industry, and it is likely you will experience knock backs in the form of unsuccessful interviews along the way. I certainly did!

Recognise this is not a reflection on you and how good you would be at this job. Just focus on doing your best and know it is good enough, even if you are not successful. 

Also, do not be afraid to change your mind if you decide, for whatever reason, it is not for you. This role takes a lot from you personally. For example, to do my job and do it well, without burnout, it is imperative I put my own wellbeing needs first. It is non-negotiable.

My spare income goes on self-care acts which keep me balanced, grounded and nourished. Self-care is not a luxury for me, it is essential. My life choices always must consider how much spare capacity I have, based on how much my role takes from me.  

This job is certainly not for everyone, but if it is for you, it is honestly one of the most rewarding jobs you could ever do! 

If you could describe your job in only three words, which would you choose?

Rewarding, an honour and privilege.  

To be part of someone’s story. To be trusted to hear thoughts, feelings and experiences, that have never been shared before. 

What do you most love about it?

In my own way, being able to make the world a better place to be.  

With each person or group of people I support, the impact of this is huge! Because when someone changes their emotional experience, perspective or coping pattern, this impacts on everyone else around them. In turn, all those individuals, then impact on everyone around them…and it goes on.  

Helping parents in the way I do allows me to indirectly help their children. By allowing them to model more effective self-worth, self-care and emotional regulation strategies. This then, impacts on our whole society, as these children, are our next generation of teachers, leaders, service men and women.  

Never ever underestimate your impact on the world! You matter. We all do. 

What word would your clients use to describe you?


Where do you hope your career may take you?

Honestly? I have so many dreams that I want to achieve. Dream big I always say! 

I would love to be a leading Psychotherapist and researcher in the field of Maternal Mental Health.  I want to speak on the Ted stage about maternal wellbeing.  To contribute to meaningful policy, social and cultural change around how we support mothers.  To write a self-help book specifically for mothers.  

If someone is reading this and thinks, I’d love to work with Laura, what should they do?

Drop me an email on contact@lauragreenwoodtherapy.com or give me a call on 01484 621400. Share some brief details of what you would like support with, and we can book an initial chat via the phone or Microsoft Teams. Here we can discuss your needs, your goals, what style of therapy you would like, if you know! From here I can talk to you about how I could help and then the decision is in your hands as to whether you feel I would be a good therapist fit for you.  

Choosing a therapist is such a personal thing. I want you to find the right one for you.  Even if that is not me.  There is never any pressure to book in for sessions after our initial discussion and I will always help in whatever way I can.