Elpis Counselling planning for a post-Covid world with new premises, aided by John Truslove

A Bromsgrove psychotherapist is set to expand the scope his counselling work following a move to new larger premises, aided by commercial property agency John Truslove.

Mark O’Leary is also planning to start group therapy work once the current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted after moving his Elpis Counselling service into the new offices at 18 St John Street, a short distance from the town centre.

Ian Parker, joint managing director at John Truslove, handled the deal, securing the landlord a three year lease on the town centre offices.

Mr O’Leary said: “In my work as a therapist I know how important offices and surroundings are and I knew these were ideal the moment I walked in. In particular the large meeting room will allow me to start group sessions – once we are past the coronavirus crisis – because they work so well for many people.”

The large space also means that, with the thorough and robust health and safety measures he has put in place, Mr O’Leary can continue to meet with his clients in person while meeting social distancing guidelines.

While Covid-19 has not led to a particular increase client numbers, the nature of the issues Mr O’Leary is dealing with are often a result of the lockdown.

He said: “Lockdown has seen a lot of people having the time to look at their lives and sometimes this sees them identifying ways they want to make changes, or finding there is something about themselves or their lives they are unhappy about.

“The first couple of months were among the quietest I can remember because people came together as a community and there was a sense of togetherness, but that has faded as the situation has dragged on. No-one has come to me saying they are worried about Covid-19 itself but the lockdowns have created considerable additional anxiety.”

Mr O’Leary switched to his current vocation after a decade in office jobs, latterly as a network engineer for a major mobile phone company.

After pursuing an evening psychology course at the University of Birmingham in 2003 he began working as a support worker in a residential therapeutic community in the city, working with people with often severe personality disorders.

Since qualifying as a psychotherapist in 2009 he has worked with clients experiencing a wide range of issues in Birmingham, London, Lincoln, Liverpool, Chester, Thailand and now Bromsgrove.

Mr O’Leary added: “The space of my new offices, with two meeting rooms and an administration area, means I am also hoping to eventually open them up to allow other therapists to work from here. I’ve experienced how difficult it can be finding good premises at a reasonable cost when you first start out.

“I had spoken with Ian Parker at John Truslove last year when I began looking for new offices but at the time there was nothing suitable. When we identified these premises they were ideal. Ian was very helpful during the whole process, always keeping in touch.”

Ian Parker said: “The pressures of the Covid-19 lockdowns has underlined the important work of healthcare professionals like Mark O’Leary, helping people with their mental health. We are very pleased to have been able to help him secure premises that will enable him to support even more people.

“High quality, spacious offices like these in St John Street don’t come on to the market very often but our prominent position as the leading local commercial property agent means we are the best resource for any expanding firm looking for a new home.”

Solicitors MFG represented the landlord, while Mr O’Leary represented himself.

Redditch-based chartered surveyors and valuers John Truslove was recently named Most Active Agent in Worcestershire in the Radius Data Exchange survey produced in conjunction with EG, the commercial property market magazine.

Joint managing director Ian Parker was also named Worcestershire Dealmaker of the Year AND Warwickshire Dealmaker of the Year for 2020. The survey year, which runs from August to August, saw John Truslove record a 36% increase in deals negotiated over the 12 months.

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