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Sam Carbon

From banking to psychotherapy

My move into psychotherapy from 25 years in investment banking was triggered as the world of banking began to change around the 2008 banking crash. The atmosphere in banking was more tense and fearful and no longer aligned with my view of the world.

I remembered my experience with a psychotherapist and how that had helped me deal with my mum’s death. I remembered how many people had told me what an active listener I was, all throughout my career. How from a young age people said I had a ‘wise head’ and how I acted like a counsellor/coach making them feel heard and supported.  A new career in psychotherapy seemed the obvious route. 

The journey to psychotherapy

One of the most important decisions in choosing where to study was convenience – I found a programme where I could train one weekend a month over 4 years – with a short commute from home.  The part-time programme meant I could fit it my assignments around work and home commitments – although it is tough and demands great organisation to juggle the two!  If you want to find out more I recommend you check out the resources on the UK Council for Psychotherapy website https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/join/how-to-train/

I retrained 10 years ago and have been working for over 5 years as a psychotherapist and over 8 years as a counsellor. I like working in the two roles as they work at different levels – counselling often works supporting the surface issues and helps shift unhelpful habits, whereas psychotherapy takes clients on a deeper psychological journey which is powerful for healing deep traumas and patterns.  For me personally, psychotherapy took me to parts of myself that counselling alone couldn’t – but I love the way the two are complementary and support transformations at different levels.

What are the highlights of working in psychotherapy (so far)?

I enjoy working for myself and being my own boss, but of course the biggest reward is witnessing shifts and transformations in my clients.

Psychotherapy is a career where any skills you have built from previous work are particularly useful.  For me the communication skills and importance of relating to a variety of cultures that I developed working in investment banking are invaluable for my role as psychotherapist; helping me to relate to the journeys of my clients whatever their background.

Working in psychotherapy is a continuous journey that shapes you

Like many things in life, you get out of the training what you put in. Working as a psychotherapist is a continuous journey that shapes you. It’s encouraging to see views about psychotherapy are changing for the better. More people are realising that a psychotherapist is a bit like a coach in terms of helping you to achieve goals and successes – but unlike most coaches they have the training to help you unpick psychological blocks from your past that can be an obstruction to your success and guide you on the therapeutic journey back to your best self.

For me the journey of transformation both in myself and more importantly my clients makes all the hard work worthwhile.


The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists can help you find an expert therapist near you.

If you are interested in training to become a therapist, then you can find out more about UKCP accredited trainings here.