The Circle Line

Pip Richardson

"We all write our own life story."

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By therapist and Founder of The Circle Line,
Philippa Richardson

It was Christmas 1997 and The Spice Girls were number 1 when a close member of my family was admitted to the psychiatric ward at our local hospital. I was a frightened teenager and didn’t understand any of it, and very little was explained to me. This was my first exposure to the world of mental health.

Fast-forward many years and only now do I realise the power of self-development – of taking some time to understand ourselves and what makes us and those around us tick.

I now see little more important than helping people realise their true potential. I believe self-development is fundamental: all change starts with us as individuals.

FINDING OURSELVES

It was during a difficult time of my own that my eyes were really opened. I realised we all have this thing “mental health”, just like we all have a body, we all have a mind. I had understood so little about my “self” and misunderstood so much, I was stunned.

From there, I was hooked. I started reading psychology books voraciously, returning to the subject of my original degree: psychology. I saw how the mind affects everything: from relationships, to self-esteem, to career – that we know less about the brain that we do about the universe, that we all have an “attachment style”, that our childhood creates our blueprint.

I wish I knew myself better, earlier in life… the situations I could have avoided…

“EXPERIENCE SHAPES THE BRAIN”

Experience forms our brains “wiring”, particularly our early ones and the emotional ones. Our vulnerable early years are our formative years. Understanding how we adapt and find ways to cope in our family and situation is key, as these patterns stick with us long after we “grow up”.

But – crucially – I learnt how the brain is malleable. Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and our wiring can be changed.

What can be learnt can be unlearnt.

Awareness of ourselves is the start of creating the life and relationships we want. The journey can take a few years and may be painful and daunting at times – but it is so worth it. 

Finding a therapist who helped me turn the biggest corners was life-changing. I had my share of reluctance about therapy – fear, scepticism, and sometimes felt as if I was going backwards, or that everything was taking too long. But I was determined to know and work through what was going on deep-down for me. I was so interested and getting so much from it that I started training to be a psychotherapist myself.

WE WRITE OUR OWN STORY

Back in 1997, when I first encountered this thing called mental health, it was virtually unheard of, let alone spoken of. Self-development, self-actualisation, therapy, weren’t even a “thing” back then.

But things are changing now. And I started The Circle Line to keep changing them.

I think it’s time for a different conversation. We help others who want to reflect, to develop, who want to live their best life too. That’s why I set up The Circle Line; it’s why we exist. 

For I believe we decide. We create our own life story.

A bit about Pip

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