Each month, the 'Day in the Life' series offers PACFA members the opportunity to share their personal and professional experience as dedicated Practising & Registered Clinical Counsellors and Registered Clinical Psychotherapists who embody the art and science of holding space for others.
This month, we follow the day with Andrea Szász.Andrea Szász is a Psychodynamic and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, Clinical Supervisor, and Lecturer at Sydney University’s Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy training. She holds Clinical Membership with PACFA and is a member of the College of Psychotherapy. Andrea works as a trauma therapist at TraumaWarriors.Online, where she facilitates workshops based in Brené Brown’s teachings and provides assessments using the Adult Attachment Interview.
Her written contributions span across various publications such as The Guardian and Body and Soul. Alongside these pursuits, she is pursuing a part-time PhD delving into the interconnectedness of body, mind, and soul.
My professional journey was shaped by personal experiences and an unwavering curiosity about human existence and the repercussions of trauma. My initial step involved studying Counselling, which only served to intensify my fascination. This prompted me to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, driven by the idea that becoming a psychologist would enable me to offer Medicare Rebates. However, a pivotal moment during this pursuit altered my trajectory.
A lecturer, addressing a sizable gathering of psychology students, ridiculed the notion that psychologists should undergo their therapy. The auditorium erupted in laughter, except for a few of us who exchanged looks of disbelief. It was then that I realised that the path of a psychologist wasn't aligned with my beliefs, as I strongly advocate for therapists to undergo their own therapy journey.Subsequently,
I discovered the Psychotherapy Masters program at Sydney University, along with the Somatic Experiencing® approach, and felt an instant resonance. I am passionate about approaches that incorporate the body, believing that our overall well-being and mental health are profoundly shaped by early relational experiences and the subsequent disruptions we encounter. My work takes place within the comfort of my home office for online sessions and in-person sessions at the Brave Therapy™ headquarters in Bondi Junction, Sydney.
A Tuesday in the Life as a Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor
6.30am: Wake Up & Start Slow
I wake up enjoying a slow start with tea and coffee brought to me (most days) in bed. Then I am graced with my usually very dismissive cat, Zelensky, for a cuddle. This is an essential part of the day since he ignores me for the rest. After reading some newspapers, around 7:00am-7.30am, I go for a jog outside in nature or do a yoga or Pilates class at home. I have breakfast and make food for the rest of the day. Usually, I make either a well-packed sandwich or a soba noodle salad and take some home-baked cookies and fruit with me for afternoon tea.
9:00am: I Start My Workday
Around 9:00am, I start my workday by attending to emails, accounting, advertising and organising in my home office. I spend at least half an hour on my PhD each day, writing or coding Adult Attachment Interviews, more on Mondays, my professional development /research days.
10.30am: Walk to My Office
Around 10.30am, I take a 30-minute walk to my office. I use this walk to listen to podcasts or catch up with friends or family via phone. Being a therapist means I sit a lot with clients, so I enjoy connecting with others while moving.
11:00am: See Clients and Supervisees
I see my psychotherapy and clinical supervision clients from 11:00am or Noon until 7:00pm with an extensive break for lunch, and I take smaller breaks for recharge and note-taking. As a somatic experiencing practitioner, I have many fun things to play and move within the office, which I often do. I sometimes see supervisees outside my regular business hours if needed. I plan to offer group supervision as the focus of my work is to provide support for less experienced practitioners. I find that work rewarding and inspiring.
7:00pm: Home & Dinner
After seeing my last client, I walk home without making calls, letting myself reflect and digest the day.
If I have time after work or a cancellation earlier in the day, I often go to the gym to lift some weights as I discovered that is really important for general health as we age.
At home, my partner and I figure out dinner. We love eating great food, so it is always a ‘thing’ that we enjoy doing together. I enjoy making anything by Ottolenghi; I love the aromatic herbs and the creative ways vegetables are used in his recipes. Then, after some stretching and dinner, I often have a short infra-sauna session, shower or bath.
I often finish the day with light tv, like MasterChef or Doghouse. I love reading anything from Olga Tokarczuk and generally sleep by 10:00pm. When I am not working, I love spending time with friends and family, live music, which I am glad to get back to after the pandemic, dancing, hiking, archery and looking after a piece of beautiful Gumbaynggir Forest that we have become stewards of.
Connect with Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor Andrea Szász
Website | Instagram
Open the door on your day
The ‘Day in the Life’ series is created and edited by PACFA Registered Clinical Psychotherapist® and founder of The Psychosynthesis Centre, Jodie Gale.
Each month, the ‘A Day in the Life’ series will offer participating PACFA members the opportunity to share their unique personal and professional experience as dedicated Practising & Registered Clinical Counsellors and Registered Clinical Psychotherapists who embody the art and science of holding space for others. Click here to read more and to find out how you can open the door on your day.