Sometimes in life, you meet someone you know will create and be something amazing. Dr Tamara Vaughan is one of those people, and I want to share a little as to why.
I met Tamara earlier this year over coffee in a local restaurant. Tamara was preparing to launch her own private practice focussing on people’s ‘mind health’ and wanted some branding photography to support this. We were meeting to make sure we clicked off camera before any type of shooting was confirmed.
Mission ‘normalise therapy’
From the moment Tamara entered the restaurant her smile and warmth lit the room and became infectious to all around her, as you can see in the photograph accompanying this post. It wasn’t this that made me certain of Tamara being someone extraordinary, it was her mission and what ended up being part of my brief to capture on camera.
Like most adolescents, Tamara and her friends experienced difficulties growing up and found it difficult to speak to their parents. For one friend these difficulties grew into bigger issues which lead them to see a therapist. It was this decision that prompted Tamara’s interest in learning more and how she came to leave the Barbadian sunshine to study psychology in the UK.
Describing herself as a ‘recovering perfectionist’, Tamara has worked in mental health hospitals, community and charity settings in London, including at The Priory Hospital Roehampton, and completed a doctorate programme in Counselling Psychology. She also became a lecturer to others on their own path to becoming therapists.
Mind Health Psychology
What prompted Tamara’s choice to leave the safety of full time employment and launch her own private practice was a desire to make therapy accessible and helpful to those that need it. This is where the amazing part comes in.
Tamara’s mission is to normalise therapy. To normalise diagnosis and the stigma that is still so often associated with someone asking for help.
As Tamara described it to me, she wants to “remove the labels of people being thought of or feeling ‘crazy’. No Therapist is an ‘expert’ who can know the in’s and outs of each persons life, but they do have the ability to ‘empower’ people, giving them the ability to care for themselves”.
Mind Health Psychology officially launched in June 2019 and I know Tamara has made such a huge, positive impact on so many people already. With people like Tamara in this world I hope the therapy will become the norm. That is won’t be something we turn to when things get really bad, and that together, we take better care of ourselves in the good times as well as the bad.