What do you do?
I’m a person-centred psychotherapist in private practice. I specialise in seeing trans and queer clients, particularly those who are neurodivergent and those who have experienced trauma. I’m also a writer, and my book The Trans Guide to Mental Health and Well-Being is out now.
How long have you been doing it?
I completed my MSc in Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy in 2018, and I started my private practice in 2019.
Where did you study?
I’m based in the North East, but I studied in the Midlands and I work exclusively online.
Why did you end up as a therapist?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a therapist, and luckily my love for the vocation has only grown with time! I was always particularly interested in hearing the stories of people who aren’t usually encouraged to talk about how they feel. It’s still one of my favourite parts of the job, and a real privilege.
What’s the most important skill for a therapist, do you think?
I find that my most used skill is my boundary setting. The safety that comes when clients feel supported by well-communicated boundaries in their lives, modelled by me, and in the therapeutic relationship can lead to some amazing work.
What’s the book you recommend the most?
It’s a cliché, but I’d be lost without The Carl Rogers Reader by Howard Kirschenbaum – it’s a book I always find myself coming back to. If I can cheekily suggest a second book, I turn to How to Understand Your Gender by Meg-John Barker and Alex Iantaffi a lot when working with trans, non-binary, and gender questioning clients.
What do you do when you’re not being a therapist?
You can usually find me caring for my fiancée, reading SFF novels, baking, trying to learn Japanese, and knitting (badly).
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I have seven tattoos and counting.
What you’d like people to know…
Trans rights are human rights!
Katy Lees is a psychotherapist and author whose book ‘The Trans Guide to Mental Health and Well-Being’ is out now.