Celebrity Therapist Josh on His Days at Salford

Categories: School of Health and Society

Josh Fletcher studied Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)  at the University of Salford and is now a highly regarded therapist and author. His latest book And How Does That Make You Feel? is a top seller on Amazon, and has been praised in media including The Guardian, the Times and Sky News. Last week Josh popped back to the University for a brew and a chat about his current success.

Image shows Josh holding his book in front of the Salford sign

Thanks for coming in and talking to us Josh. First can you tell us what you studied here, and why you chose The University of Salford?

I originally trained to be a therapist and wanted to do further study in CBT because I specialise in working with anxiety. I wanted practical training in anxiety disorders and depression so I looked through all the courses available. I always loved the area and used to live on Chapel Street years ago. I’d bump into current students and I thought I’ll have a look at the course here, so decided to do PG Cert here and really enjoyed it

What do you remember most about your time at Uni in Salford?

I really enjoyed the course and meeting people and met friends for life, and they’ve gone onto do really well. I loved the campus, it’s a great location and the tutors are fantastic – it’s just a great place to go and to learn and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back.

What’s your typical day, please can you describe that?

This morning to be honest I lay in bed and scrolled on my phone – I don’t subscribe to toxic wellness culture anymore it’s counter productive!

But it’s not always like that - yesterday I went to the gym and took a bit of time for myself, then I started work. Through the day when I’m not on the book campaign I’m a therapist in Old Trafford, I see clients and I have a little corner where I do social media content. At the moment I’m going round to bookshops doing interviews. I make time for myself as well – I saw a gig last night in town.

How do you feel about your current success, you must be so proud?

The book is a top seller on Amazon and has been picked out in Guardian, Mail and Times. That  prestige is amazing, I still have to pinch myself. It doesn’t’ feel real because I’ve been so busy. I think I do need to sit down and realise how well it’s doing. I’ve had some great feedback, from everyone including people who have been to therapy, some who have never been, and my fellow therapists, which is always nice.

I need to take some time out and take it in. I’m a very driven, often self critical person who keeps trying to push myself and the advice I give to others I need to give myself first. Yes - it’s going good!

What did you want to achieve when you wrote the book?

I wanted to write a book about therapy which wasn’t like pulling teeth. I love mental health books because I’m a therapist but I wanted something everyone could access – like a stealth help book – where you read for the engaging stories, plots, info which keeps you gripped. But I wanted it to be a book that, by the end of it, I would have learned a lot, about psychology, counselling, anxiety.

My favourite forms of entertainment are when I’m learning without realising I’m learning and I’m laughing along the way. I’m using humour. It’s a very funny book. I like to use humour to make subjects which can be quite tricky more engaging.

If you could talk to your student self, what would you say to yourself now?

I’d say believe in your potential, don’t listen to inner critic. In the book I talk about 13 different voices the therapist has and one of them is the critic. We can all relate to that voice whether you are a therapist or not and the critic can be very loud sometimes. So if I could speak to that student I’d say “The critic is OK, he has his role but there are other voices here – compassion, analytical voices, encouragement – listen to those as well.  The critic doesn’t need to keep standing.” Realise you’re more capable than you think.

What is stand out skill you learned from your course?

I loved practising doing my formulation. There’s different types of therapists out here. Every time I work with a client we always work together and formulate what the issue is. So I’m not sitting there trying to pin all your problems on Mum and Dad. I’m sitting there going what do you want from therapy, so I’ve got a big whiteboard on wheels, so I wheel it out with my pens and I say let’s formulate what the problem is. And I didn’t realise how much I’d use it as a therapist. I love a good CBT formulation!

What one piece of advice would you give a Salford student now?

I’d say make sure you get the right balance. Don’t push yourself so hard and burn out, do what you need to do. Don’t do what I did and leave all my assignments to the last minute!

I’d say go easy on yourself, find that balance. It’s really important. Know you’re not defined as a person by your grades. There is a lot of pressure. If I don’t get this I’m a failure. You’re not.

I tanked my A levels and my under grad was not much better. Obviously judge yourself on your intentions and not your outcomes.

Keep going. Just keep going.

Josh studied a PG Cert in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at University of Salford 2019-20. The University of Salford’s Heath and Society Post graduate and counselling courses are amongst the most popular on offer anywhere in the UK, winning awards and accolades from ex students and experts in the field as well as being professionally recognised. If you have any questions please email J.R.Darling@salford.ac.uk

Book available at: And How Does That Make You Feel?: everything you (n)ever wanted to know about therapy eBook : Fletcher, Joshua: Amazon.co.uk: Books

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