A Bromsgrove psychotherapist is set to expand the scope his counselling work following a move to new larger premises.
Mark O’Leary is also planning to start group therapy work once the current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted after moving his Elpis Counselling service into the new offices at 18 St John Street, a short distance from the town centre.
Ian Parker, joint managing director at commercial real estate agency John Truslove handled the deal, securing the landlord a three year lease on the town centre offices.
Mr O’Leary said: “In my work as a therapist I know how important offices and surroundings are and I knew these were ideal the moment I walked in.”
The large space also means that, with the thorough and robust health and safety measures he has put in place, Mr O’Leary can continue to meet with his clients in person while meeting social distancing guidelines.
While Covid-19 has not led to a particular increase client numbers, the nature of the issues Mr O’Leary is dealing with are often a result of the lockdown.
He said: “Lockdown has seen a lot of people having the time to look at their lives and sometimes this sees them identifying ways they want to make changes, or finding there is something about themselves or their lives they are unhappy about.
“The first couple of months were among the quietest I can remember because people came together as a community and there was a sense of togetherness, but that has faded as the situation has dragged on. No-one has come to me saying they are worried about Covid-19 itself but the lockdowns have created considerable additional anxiety.”
Mr O’Leary switched to his current vocation after a decade in office jobs, latterly as a network engineer for a major mobile phone company.
After pursuing an evening psychology course at the University of Birmingham in 2003 he began working as a support worker in a residential therapeutic community in the city, working with people with often severe personality disorders. He qualified as a psychotherapist in 2009.
Ian Parker said: “The pressures of the Covid-19 lockdowns has underlined the important work of healthcare professionals like Mark O’Leary, helping people with their mental health. We are very pleased to have been able to help him secure premises that will enable him to support even more people.”
Solicitors MFG represented the landlord, while Mr O’Leary represented himself.