Michaela McCarthy reflects on a decade of running The Awareness Centre in Clapham.
It’s been ten years since I set up The Awareness Centre in Clapham SW4. What started out as a vision and a gut feeling has evolved into a thriving therapy centre helping hundreds of people feel better about themselves every week. That’s what inspires me and gives me purpose: seeing the gradual transformation of the clients who come across our threshold.
It’s no coincidence that I opened The Awareness Centre in Clapham. I was born there and moved away when I was two, so to have my own centre there was like a coming home. As I child I was always curious about how people tick – and why people are who they are. My training and experience as a psychotherapist allowed me to indulge that curiosity, and I continue to be curious to this day.
The story of how I found the premises for The Awareness Centre is quite an inspiring one: I totally trusted my intuition that I would find the right place. I sat in my car in Clapham Common, putting it out to the universe to guide me, and believing that the right building would come along. I ended up finding 41 Abbeville Road by changing hairdressers. The rest, as they say, is history.
I made it my purpose right from the start to bring therapy to the diverse community of south London. I believe that counselling and psychotherapy aren’t just for the affluent with time on their hands. That’s why we still continue to provide a low-cost counselling service so people on benefits or modest incomes can have access to therapy too. And we’re open seven days a week to allow people to fit therapy into their lives.
We’ve evolved over the years to offer private counselling, psychotherapy and psychology. We specialise in addiction, bereavement, anger, couples, sex and relationships, LGBT counselling, multilingual counselling, and child and adolescent counselling. We also offer coaching and run personal development workshops.
I am proud of what we’ve achieved over the past decade, and humbled at how we’ve helped thousands of people to transform their lives. We’re planning to open The Awareness Centre at more venues across London and the UK. My intuition tells me that many more adventures and surprises lie ahead.