Bobby Bradstock - 2019 graduate

Bobby Bradstock – Psychology and Counselling

Director, Serenity Psychotherapy

Bobby Bradstock studied her Psychology and Counselling BSc and also her Integrative Psychotherapy Adult MSc at Newman University, graduating in 2019.

When Bobby began her studies she already knew that she wanted to be a self-employed psychotherapist as she found it both interesting and stimulating as it allowed her to find a lot of sense in the things she had experienced in life.

After completing her undergraduate at Newman, Bobby moved on to complete her postgraduate at Newman also, explaining “It was here that I gained more confidence to go beyond my original plans and beliefs about what I could achieve.”

Bobby is now self-employed as a psychotherapist and has started her own business, Serenity Psychotherapy. Bobby commented, “My endeavour into business has been fully supported by the graduate business team at Newman and despite having left I continue to gain support from them.”

As well as setting up her own company, Bobby offers an online wellbeing call service for those who are house or bed bound due to physical illness and are in need of occasional emotional support.

“This was something that I researched for both my BSc and MSc dissertation pieces and saw great potential in, for this bracket of individuals. This has expanded from my original plans as a psychotherapist, due to the nature of therapy being an intense line of work. I now see a maximum of 15 clients per week which in the future will be an excellent position to be in with a family etc. , however now I have spare time I offer the OWC to use my time outside of my practice efficiently.”

Another project that Bobby is involved in a youth work project The Value YOUth Project which wors with under 16s to educate them about self-esteem, mental health, effective communication and healthy relationships, through a series of pastoral workshops delivered by YOUth Mentors.

Bobby comments “This Project was not something I had considered before my last year of university and through supportive networks at Newman I was approached by West Midlands Police about using my skills and knowledge to offer something in response to crime and exploitation amongst young people.”

Bobby explains that she has and still does struggle with confidence, “On a personal level I struggled, and still do struggle, with my confidence in social situations which could have held me back a lot through my education. However, I’m pleased to say that despite some painful moments and a lot of courage on my own part I still did the things I was scared to do. It can be easy to choose not to attempt the things we find scary and challenging but so often this is how we grow and develop ourselves. Again those personal transferable skills are often what are found at the end of those long uncertain tunnels we find ourselves in. Continuously expanding my comfort zone was and is the best career choice I could make.”

Looking to the future Bobby hopes to expand her practice to employ other therapists and trainees as well as having the opportunity to conduct research into the area and hopefully gain her PhD.

Bobby’s advice to students would be “keep learning in some form or another. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and meet new people. For me it’s kept my career interesting and avoided stagnation which can be disheartening after so many years of studying.”

Michael Swift

Michael Swift – Psychology and Counselling

Owner of Swift Psychology Services

Prior to starting his degree Michael was providing emotional support as a health care assistant at a residential care home for older adults.

He then decided to study at Newman University to gain his BSc in Psychology and Counselling. During his studies, Michael had his own obstacles to overcome after a family bereavement and received some mental health support from the counsellor at Newman University, and it was this which gave him the passion to work in mental health.

Michael thoroughly enjoyed his time at Newman, explaining “My favourite moment was the final year study sessions where some friends and I would go to the library and get our heads down for a few hours. It was always a time we spent working hard, eating snacks and laughing! Looking back on it, despite all the work we had to do, we were all enjoying the time we had together.”

Michael says that his proudest achievement was the completion of his undergraduate thesis, after spending weeks and months putting it together he explains it was a very proud moment when it was completed and handed in.

Michael continued “For me, the staff at Newman were nothing short of perfect. The lecturers I worked closely with were always there to support me with research, practical and even emotional support when needed.”

Michael graduated in 2017 with a 2:1 in his degree and went on to secure employment and has since worked as a Director of Therapy services for a private clinic and now runs his own private practice, ‘Swift Psychology Services’. He provides cognitive behavioural therapy to individuals with mental health difficulties and also works on several consultancy projects with large organisations across the UK.

As well as this, Michael is working towards completing his Doctorate degree in Health Psychology. His long-term goals are to grow his private practice and create a community of mental health practitioners who can support others with their wellbeing, but also would like to continue his own professional development.

“On completing my Doctorate course, I am considering the possibility of further training in the field of law to advocate for those who do not have a voice in mental health.”