Who Is The Founder Of Seek A Therapy?
The founder of the FREE UK therapist directory Seek A Therapy, that is also going global is John A Wilson.
John A Wilson was born in Liverpool, UK and was born to be a creative.
He completed an Art Foundation BTEC at Liverpool Community College gaining a Merit. Aftewards, pursuing the career of an architect, graduating as a part 1 architect in 2008. But due to the recession, led to few opportunities in the building industry within his locality. As this was the predicament, he then completed an MA in Secondary Education with a speciality in IT in 2011.
He has enjoyed the arts and computers since a child and, after his long and winding road, naturally progressed into utilising his hobbies and skills gained as an architect student and IT tutor into becoming a fully fledged professional web graphics and brand designer since 2010 to present.
But it wasn’t always so smooth for John…
In May 2008, John’s architectural graduation coincided with what was the world’s worst economic recession. Disappointed, but not defeated, his partner at the time had given up her dreams and ambitions to become a teacher so suggested I should do the same, as a person who naturally likes helping people, it may well be a good second option.
High Pressure Relationship
His partner at the time of when he was studying architect and teaching degrees had recently lost her mother during his final year of architecture to an operation.
It was a reversing of a colostomy bag due to the uncomfortable nature of its placement.
There was a low chance of survival but she didn’t want to live like that anymore and so took the chance.
The operation coincided with John’s final CPD project of Architecture and his partner wanted his support down in London whilst he was studying in Liverpool.
Put between a rock and a hard place he felt that her mother would want her to have the best chance of a good future and so he continued his architecture studies, only for his lecturers to allow him to suspend his studies once they knew he hadn’t produced the work they knew he was very capable of.
This was something that his then partner never forgave him for and why teaching was thrust upon him. She had sacrificed her dreams so he can sacrifice his too.
Changing from Architect To IT Tutor
Due to changing profession from Architecture to IT tutoring he had to undertake an extended PGCE MA to first learn the IT programs. This, he thoroughly enjoyed, particularly the media side. Creativity in his blood from a very young age and his architecture experience not going to waste! Once ready, he was tasked with teaching in several school placements.
School was a great experience for John. He loved to help the children and make lessons fun, graphical and more of a game than a boring school lesson. Often theming his lessons around cultural events going on at the time. He built excellent rapport with whoever he taught and never needed to shout. He gave respect to all he met and so respect was returned, except, not from all…
In his second work placement he met two teachers who ended being his mentor.
They were jealous of his natural ability to build rapport with people and so they made his life difficult. They assigned him the task of creating three new modules ( when the university only required us to create one ) and told him to raise his voice when it wasn’t his teaching style.
They wouldn’t help him when he had a question.
They saw he commanded respect that they struggled to achieve by their negative ways. In the end, although he loved helping the children, he became a victim of workplace bullying and led to his first mental health breakdown.
Completing The Masters Degree
His university lecturers were informed of my experience and told me to take some time out and so my degree was extended from 2 years to 3 but even when he returned, he struggled to be in a school classroom due to how he had been treated previously and mind games played against him.
After he had reported what had happened to him his university lecturers ensured no one else from his university would be mentored by them, so that was the good side of the experience.
Not one to be pushed down by bullies or give up, he carried on his course and managed to find the direction and courage to keep going. He managed to acquire a final placement in a private school that John Lennon’s son went to. It was a little bit of heaven and so he managed to complete his teaching degree.
The relief and sense of achievement was great, he overcame the bullies. But after not pursuing his dream of being an architect and not feeling he can be in a classroom with anxiety his career options were limited. His finances were also dire. This was his FINAL breakdown.
Final Breakdown Leads To Breakthrough
After a few weeks from completing his degree in teaching he realised he had made bad decisions. In his career and his personal life too, it led to him having little to no opportunity to work, even though he had worked for seven years extremely hard in two very difficult degrees. Heavily in debt, an unfulfilling relationship, no opportunity to follow his career passions. Not even able to get the most basic of jobs. He was over qualified and so felt trapped. Emotionally in pain, financially broken and loveless it was time to make a decision. It was time to try to end the suffering.
He was suicidal.
With a heavy heart, uncontrollable racing thoughts, sweating and shaking on the rug of his apartment he felt he had made too many bad decisions. He would never be able to achieve the life he had dreamed of and worked so hard to achieve. In desperation, he rang his mother up and told him how he was feeling. This is where recovery began.
Made Emergency GP Appointment
Once his parents knew how bad he was they instantly contacted the first place to contact, and that was his GP. His mother told him to write a list of all the thoughts he was having as it can sometimes be hard to remember and also, we sometimes pretend we are ok when speaking to a GP. This was important.
When he spoke to the GP and began explaining his feelings from the paper, he broke down to the point of uncontrollable crying and pain. He then undertook a suicide test to see whether he needed to be sectioned or not. He was 3 points away from needing immediate help! Given the highest dose of citalopram, antidepressants and put on a waiting list of 6 months to see a therapist for CBT, this was the help he received.
Fortunately, I had a strong family with a mother from a holistic health background.
Moved Back Home
He moved back to his childhood home with his parents and sister. Only for his younger sister of fifteen years old to have a breakdown the very next day. She had been coping, quietly, with severe bullying at her secondary school and when she saw John, the funny and laid back, it was too much for her. The final point for her emotional stability.
For John, to see his sister also not coping, he actually felt sorry for his parents. Both their children so unhappy due to things completely out of the control of anyone.
Initially, when he was at home, John was sleeping for the majority of the day, just resting his over active mind and just healing it. He was tired most of the time so this was the first few weeks of his recovery. Sleep was the key to helping him back to health.
Starting to Exercise
After his mind was recovered he started to exercise more, walking long walks every day and using the Wii he lost over two stone. His family bought a Westie and so, although he had severe social anxiety due to his breakdown he ensured he walked him three times a day. He was such a blessing , a pet with so much unconditional love helped take his negative thoughts away.
At Christmas, Boxing Day, his partner at that time decided that she couldn’t cope with his mental state and financial situation any more and so decided to leave him. This was the point where he began to feel lighter, things were starting to move into the right direction.
Learning New Skills
Now he had some time and his mental health was making good improvements, he decided to learn some new skills. Web coding, graphic design and Spanish, so he could possibly get a job to somewhere else in the world with Spanish being one of the widest spoken langues. He used a website well known language website where he met a Colombian woman based in London.
This was the next chapter. John, although suffering anxiety, booked a journey to London from liverpool, never having been there before. He knew, it was time for change!
Going To Colombia
The Colombian lady and John clicked amazingly but she had to go back to her home country.
Not working and not having much money, he looked at all his old architecture and teaching books. He began to list them all on Amazon and Ebay. He looked at his old toys from his childhood and sold all of them too making enough to travel to Colombia and a few hundred pounds spending money.
Travelling so far away for a woman who he truly admired was maybe, some would say crazy, but it was the catalyst for great change. You can read more about it here.
On return from Colombia, he was given new motivation and applied for jobs all over the country and ended with one working for a large data centre consultancy and provider on the outskirts of London.
Leaving For London
He had finally made it, he was in London, working as a web, graphics and brand designer alongside the CEO.
Whilst in London he met a Tibetan woman born in Nepal who ended up becoming his wife. She taught him how to start to let things go and reduce his anxiety. With a no none-sense attitude to life and to anxiety she helped without realising. She was patient and she helped me with my restoring my health. Exploring her culture also taught him many aspects of how to maintain good mental health. Meditation, just one example. He was even fortunate enough to meet the Dalia Lama’s sister and listening to a talk with Dalai Lama himself.
He also ook part in Tibetan protests that brought Tibetans from around the world to Paris. Supporting the Tibetan people’s human rights globally.
Unfortunately, after six years, things didn’t work out with her and so they split but remained good friends.
Returning To Liverpool
John spent six years in London. Five years at the data centre company and a couple of years in different agencies in London. After he had amassed knowledge, he returned back to Liverpool with what he had learned. He worked for a couple of fairly new design and marketing agencies and helped them establish themselves, whilst improving their branding.
Support of Kate – coming soon.
Seek A Therapy Is Born – The First FREE UK Therapist Directory
Seek A Therapy was born due to John’s personal experience of mental health problems and his vast knowledge of digital marketing and