Ellie Lister | Monday 7th December, 2020
During Talk Money Week, we ran a competition to give away £500 into someone’s pension pot. The lucky winner was Penfold customer, Meryn Addison, a self-employed therapist for her own business, Time To Bloom Therapy. Here, we talk to her about her self-employed story, how she’s found working through COVID-19 and why she chose to invest in her future through a pension.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
I’m an integrative therapist and I help anxious, lost & overwhelmed millennials to feel good enough by nurturing self worth via supportive online therapy. I offer 1-1 therapy via webcam & email and I also produce content about mental health & emotional wellbeing that I share on my Instagram and on my blog so that people can learn to understand themselves better & improve their own lives.
As someone in the therapy industry, how has COVID-19 impacted your career?
I had already completed extra training to specialise in working as an online therapist before COVID-19 so in some respects I was well equipped for the rapid changes in how therapy has been provided this year. There has been an increase in anxiety & feelings of uncertainty (and us therapists are not immune to this!) so it has been a challenge to support others whilst also living through 2020. In order to manage this I have had to pay close attention to my own emotions and make sure I am giving myself the time and space I need to remain nourished and able to support my clients. A strong self care practice has been vital!
Why did you choose to start investing in your pension?
It’s been at the back of my mind as something I needed to do and this year has just proven how uncertain things are so I think it’s reassuring to have made steps to put something aside for future me. Plus I just loved how easy & user friendly Penfold is and so it was the obvious choice.
What made you get into therapy?
I struggled with my own mental health for many years but also saw many friends and people I knew struggling with the same things. It all seemed to stem from not feeling good enough and I wanted to understand why so many of us feel this way and what we can do to improve our futures. It’s been a long journey of healing but it changed my life and now I feel so honoured to be able to do the work I do with clients as it’s a real privilege to be let into someone’s inner world and to connect with them on a deeper level. Therapy helped me to understand myself better and that’s what I aim to give others, a space where they are able to heal themselves and feel supported in doing so.
What's your favourite thing about being self-employed?
I chose to become self employed as me and my partner decided to start a family. I wanted to build a career on my terms that gave me flexibility so that I wouldn’t feel pressured into leaving my son to go back to work. He’s now 17 months and I get to spend so much time with him which is such a joy and only possible because I work for myself and decide my own schedule. It’s a juggle at times but I wouldn’t want it any other way and it’s definitely my favourite thing about being self-employed!
What's been your career highlight to date?
I only launched my business 6 months ago so I haven’t been at it long, but I am very proud of myself for creating a thriving business during a pandemic! And the other highlights for me are definitely seeing the transformation of clients through to the point where they leave therapy feeling stronger and more capable, it’s very special.
What advice would you offer to other self-employed folks?
Learn and read as much as you can but also just start taking action. There’s so much information out there (which is great) but it can get in the way of making progress so make sure you are learning & taking action at the same time!
Anything else about your business you’d like us to share?
If people would like to connect with me I post blogs about mental health on my website www.timetobloomtherapy.com and I am on Instagram most days @timetobloomtherapy so you can find me there chatting about therapy, emotional wellbeing, self care & my experience as a working therapist mum. Come say hi!