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Talked Spotlight: Interview with Shaun McMahon

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Written by Talked Team

23 Jun, 2022

Name: Shaun McMahon

Years practising: 8 months

Speciality: Borderline Personality, Relationship Issues and Trauma and PTSD

Please describe yourself in 20 words or less.

I'm passionate, driven and insatiably curious. I love to laugh and have a knack for reading people.

What is a hobby you love to do in your spare time?

Writing fantasy fiction novels. You can read one of my books, Fowl, here.

Why did you choose this career path?

From a young age, I have always tried to understand why people do what they do. Becoming a psychotherapist seemed a natural way to satiate that curiosity. As I engaged more and more in the role, I began to discover that I have a knack for helping people to feel safe and understood.

This was never my intention, but it seemed to be a side effect of my interest in them. The more I engage with the work, the more I recognise just how important it is for people to feel safe, and how desperately people crave to be understood.

Tell me about one experience which has kept you doing what you’re doing.

During my placement, I saw a young woman who had severe trauma. I knew we only had 12 sessions together, so we focused on helping her to feel safe. One of the exercises we did together involved a ball of yarn. I asked her to make a circle on the ground that represented her personal space.

We then worked on helping her to voice that boundary to me, and practice saying no. She told me afterwards it was one of the most profound experiences she had ever had. It's the small, simple things that make the work worth it.

What is one piece of general advice that you would give to a client starting out their mental health journey?

My piece of advice would be to trust the process. It's very tempting in our fast-paced world to want instant results. This is especially true if you're hurting or really struggling. Alleviating that pain can become urgent. But while rushing into discomfort and pain can seem like the solution, it can often make things worse.

The truth is that good therapy takes time. And it often starts with learning some fundamentals you might have missed out on. Learning how to take better care of yourself. Learning how to engage in relationships. And learning to be patient.

If you weren’t doing what you were doing, what career would you have pursued?

I would have pursued fantasy fiction writing, although in truth it's still a life goal of mine to publish a novel. I find a lot of enjoyment in building mystical, wondrous fantasy worlds and dropping characters in to explore them.

What is one item in your fridge that would surprise us?

I have a very broad selection of kombucha in my fridge. One can never have too much kombucha!

Is there anything about you that you would like clients who are reading to know?

I currently have availability for new clients, including sessions on Saturday. If you're interested in working with me, I'd love to meet you, so please book a 15 minute consult with me!

Book a Session

If you like what you have read about Shaun, book a free 15 minute consultation with him today.

This Talked Spotlight was based on an interview conducted in April 2022.

Talked Spotlight is our series where we interview the professionals who help make Talked the premier digital mental health platform. The views expressed are those of the interviewees, based on their experiences within the profession, and as such are not necessarily representative of Talked's views.

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