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Therapist chronicles

Therapist Spotlight

Jun 24 2024

What therapy looks like with David Ndubusi.

David Ndubusi is a clinical psychologist specialising in personality disorders, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), grief, substance use, and addiction. Outside work, he enjoys playing the saxophone.

David frequently uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help clients identify and challenge negative thoughts and behavioural patterns. By recognising these patterns, David helps to alleviate clients’ mental health issues.

In this interview, David speaks about his approaches to therapy and what to expect in a session with him.

Please introduce yourself. (Mention your years of experience, areas of speciality, and specific interests. Give a brief rundown of what Clinical Psychology entails.)

I’m David Ndubusi, a clinical psychologist with 4 years of experience. Clinical psychology blends psychological science with practical application; consequently, my role involves assessing, diagnosing, and treating various mental health issues.

My passion lies in helping people navigate and overcome various mental health challenges. My areas of specialisation include depression, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief, addiction, personality disorders, and anxiety.

With my four years’ background in clinical psychology, I’ve had the privilege of working with diverse individuals—each facing unique struggles, and these experiences have given me a deep understanding of the complexities of the human mind and the nuances surrounding mental health issues.

What inspired you to pursue a career in therapy?

Early in my life, I found myself naturally inclined to listen and empathise with others, able to provide a supportive space for them to share their thoughts and feelings. So, my journey into therapy was driven by the profound desire to positively impact people’s lives during challenging times.

Could you share your insights and experiences working as a therapist with

Working with gives me easy and seamless access to clients; it also gives my clients affordable access to mental health services. Plus, the app breaks geographical barriers by making mental health support accessible to anyone, wherever they are. I particularly enjoy how gives me flexibility to schedule my sessions.

There are some challenges, though. From time to time, I experience poor Internet connectivity, network difficulties, and technical glitches that could disrupt the flow of the therapy session and impact the quality of the communication.

Moreover, as a clinical psychologist, I’m trained to observe the overt behaviour of clients, but some clients prefer audio therapy sessions or chats, and that’s a tad limiting. I can’t see non-verbal cues that’ll help me assess a client’s emotional state. Well, the good side is that I’ve found other effective methods to complement that.

Beyond your professional life, what do you enjoy doing?

Outside work, I do music; I play the saxophone. I’m also quite the athlete; I play basketball and table tennis. I watch movies as well. I’m not really the outgoing type, but occasionally, I enjoy taking road trips.

How do you approach building rapport and trust with clients, especially in the initial stages of therapy?

Building rapport and trust is foundational to any therapeutic session, particularly in the initial stages of therapy. It’s usually based on the unique nature of the therapeutic atmosphere, in the sense that sometimes the client could be the first to initiate the conversation or some other time I could be.

However, some strategies help to establish a solid therapeutic alliance, like showing genuine interest and practising active listening. It also helps to reflect on and reiterate what the client shares to validate their feelings and create a sense of being heard and understood.

Could you tell us more about your specialities in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Diuretic Behavior Therapy, and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy are evidence-based therapeutic approaches, and they fall under the umbrella of cognitive behavioural therapies.

CBT is widely used as a form of psychotherapy, and it focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It operates on the premise that our thoughts influence our emotions and behaviours, and by identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, people can see positive changes in their emotional well-being.

DBT was originally developed to treat people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, it has been adapted for use for various other mental health conditions.

REBT is based on the premise that our beliefs about events—rather than the events themselves—determine our emotional and behavioral reactions. So, it emphasises identifying and challenging irrational beliefs to bring about emotional and behavioural change.

As a therapist, what does emotional well-being look like for you? Do you go to therapy, too?

There’s this saying that a therapist also needs a therapist. Well, therapists are also people; we’re also experiencing life transitions, dealing with stress, navigating relationship issues, etc. In my case, I don’t actively seek out a therapist, but I seek social support.

In your journey as a therapist, how have you seen the field evolve, and what trends or changes do you anticipate in the future?

The field of therapy has come a long way. For one, integrating technology into mental health has been a significant trend. Teletherapy and online counselling services have become more widely acceptable, and this has increased accessibility to mental health services.

Moreover, efforts to destigmatize mental health have gained heavy momentum. There’s increased awareness about mental health, and people have normalised seeking therapy.

Also, we have a better understanding of neuroscience, which gives us insight into neuroscientific approaches to therapy.

In your experience, what are some common misconceptions people may have about personality disorders, and how do you address these in therapy?

This is an interesting question, but I’ll mention just one.

Some people see personality disorders as some kind of character flaw or a conscious choice to do things a certain way. In therapy, I focus on helping clients understand that a personality disorder is not a choice or a moral failing.

I explore the roots of the client’s behavioural patterns—often linked to their early life experiences—and help them develop self-compassion and a sense of understanding.

When clients understand these things, they’re self-aware and can make more informed decisions in responding to situations.

Is there anyone you follow closely or admire in the mental health space?

I admire Jordan B Peterson; he’s a famous Canadian clinical psychologist.

What self-care practices do you emphasise for individuals with personality disorders?

Self-care is a crucial component of the overall well-being of people with personality disorders. Specific self-care recommendations can vary based on their unique needs and their particular type of personality disorder.

Anyway, here are two general self-care practices:

I always encourage a consistent daily routine that can provide structure and stability—which can be particularly helpful for people with personality disorders.

Moreover, practising mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help manage intense emotions and reduce anxiety symptoms. These techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided meditation.

What advice would you give to family members or friends supporting someone with a personality disorder, and how can they contribute to the therapeutic process?

Supporting someone with a personality disorder can be undoubtedly challenging, but it’s also a crucial factor in their recovery and well-being.

I have three pieces of advice for family members or friends supporting someone with a personality disorder:

  1. Educate yourself: Learn about the specific personality disorder your loved one is diagnosed with and understand its characteristics. Knowing the challenges and common coping mechanisms associated with that disorder can help you give them more informed and empathetic support.
  2. Practice empathy: Recognise that the person with a personality disorder may be experiencing significant emotional pain. So, cultivate empathy and try to understand their perspectives—even when their behaviour seems confusing and challenging.
  3. Communicate openly: Express your concerns and feelings without judgement; this’ll help you create a safe space for your loved one to share their thoughts and experiences.

To contribute to the therapeutic process, you can collaborate with the therapist by sharing relevant information about their history, behavioural patterns, and progress. Your collaboration can contribute valuable insights to the therapeutic processes.

Also, very importantly, acknowledge and celebrate the individual’s efforts and achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in improving people’s emotional well-being.

What do you think about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)? Is it a good and reliable resource for self-discovery?

Well, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a popular and interesting resource for self-reflection. Still, it has been criticised strongly for its unreliability and scientific validity limitations.

The MBTI is based on Carl Jung’s theories of personality, but it isn’t a comprehensive assessment of human behavior. It gives a general overview but doesn’t account for the complexities and uniqueness of individual personality.

So, while it’s great for a general overview of your personality type, I wouldn’t recommend using it to make complex decisions, like career choices or determining psychological disorders.


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