Happy 1st Birthday to us!
The Victoria Therapy Centre opened in January 2020 to provide mental health services to those in and around the Shipley area. Based in a prominent listed building on Victoria Road, the owners Neil and Helena Dowsland said: “We wanted to create a comfortable and purpose designed setting with a high street presence in order to make a visit to a psychotherapist or counsellor as easy to access as possible and as normal as a trip to the dentist. The centre is a base for a number of qualified psychotherapists who offer a range of therapies including counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye-Movement De-sensitisation and Re-processing (EMDR).
Neil himself is a qualified psychotherapist: “Our team have a range of skills, qualifications and styles meaning we are able to cater for a wide range of clients whatever their individual needs.”
The Victoria Therapy Centre has also run a successful community event, Time To Change (time-to-change.org.uk), back in February where the centre was opened up to anyone passing for a cuppa, a piece of cake and a chat about mental health. The aim being to help end the stigma around the subject.
This start-up business is keen to thank Ravinder Panesar and the team at Ad:Venture, an European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) business start-up scheme offered through Bradford Council. “Rav and the team offered us some useful advice and insight initially on getting things up and running. It was important for us to hear an independent expert’s thoughts” said Helena.
However, little were the team to know on opening of the dramatic changes that were soon to make a huge impact on the nation’s mental health. As Helena said: “Not only have the fears surrounding COVID affected anxiety levels but the practical impact has affected our ability to access mental health services.” Consequently, the therapists were quick to implement online therapy sessions during the initial lockdown so managed to continue many of its services throughout this period. However, the centre has now re-opened albeit with strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place.
Neil said: “The first year has been a real success despite the major setbacks and we are starting 2021 increasing our availability further and the range of therapies we offer enabling us to help more people.”