Our member Sam Bishop has spoken about the value of therapy to businesses and sports teams and hopes more will incorporate it into their work.
Sam says counselling and psychotherapy can bring huge benefits to companies and organisations and help to enhance their performance.
“Having therapists connected to sport teams is a real value and brings a lot of benefit,” said Sam, who’s been working with Sporting Chance and the Professional Football Association’s therapist network for the last seven years.
“How they’re positioned is a grey area. From my experience of Sporting Chance and the PFA network, whatever team a player comes from, they’re doing it away from that organisation and there’s that confidential barrier.
“But let’s please, please, please promote the message that therapy will benefit sporting teams. There’s a huge number of benefits for having the option of mental health support through a counsellor or a therapist, and I have years of experience of seeing that at first hand.”
Sam has teamed up with his life-long friend Guy Thompson, a professional rugby player with the world-famous Leicester Tigers, to help businesses enhance their performance.
Guy believes “100%” in the benefit of therapy.
“Sometimes, going to talk to someone about what went wrong, why it went wrong, how you felt and how you’re going to counter that next time, is brilliant,” said Guy, who has played more than 130 top-flight and European rugby games.
“You’re able to come up with strategies, ideas or solutions to that problem so that when you go back and find yourself in that situation again, you’ve had the mental preparation in order to achieve a different result if it went wrong, or, if it went right, you have the confidence to do it better.
“I also think it’s massive in terms of injuries. If you can have a psychotherapist talk to injured players, talk to them when they have setbacks.
“Being able to offload to somebody, to have someone to talk about what their fears are and then have coping scenarios put in place so that if they feel like that, they can see light at the end of the tunnel.
“And just being put in a positive mindset. Sometimes, in a sporting environment, that can be tough, so by being able to talk to a therapist and understand what makes you feel that way and how to make changes is invaluable.”
Sam and Guy, who first met at senior school and went to the same sixth form college and university, have joined forces to set up S&G Business Development. The venture combines psychological understanding and sporting excellence to help organisations grow and improve.
Sam said: “The idea came when Guy and I played a round of golf. He’d just done a player appearance at a company and I’d just been having a coaching session with a company director.
“It was clear our experiences and expertise were valuable for businesses, and that was the eureka moment.
“Why don’t we form this together and use our friendship, our experiences and our unique approaches as a platform to offer team development to organisations and companies?”
Sam, who has been a BACP member since 2010, added: “Companies approach us because they know there’s something not quite right in their teams, or they know they could benefit from some input.
“We work with the leader of the team to find the problem and then we create the solution. It could be about values, roles and identity. What are people’s roles and identity in the organisation or the team?
“Sometimes it’s the nuts and bolts of forming a new team, working with them to help create structures, boundaries, agreements on how they’re going to work together effectively.
“Other times we’re working with organisations who’ve been together a long time and it’s about breaking down some of the issues and challenges that become established.
“Guy will bring in his perspective and I bring in mine. That’s the rich experience because I can hold the therapeutic view about soft spoken, ideas, emotions, feelings and Guy can offer a directness because of his experience of sport because, no matter what happens in their working week, Saturday at 3pm they have to perform.
“It’s kick-off, it’s game time and that offers a freshness and complements my ability to look at things in a wider perspective.”