Introduce yourself: who are you, what do you do, and why is it important?

I’m Julian Churcher, in London UK (though [at the time of] writing this from Auckland, Aotearoa/NZ on holiday). I once worked as a medic (GP) and am now a trainee psychotherapist, and painter.

Psychotherapy (the Schema Therapy model) helps clients both to understand, on the basis of unmet childhood needs, why they are in a state of difficulty, distress or dissatisfaction, and gives them corrective emotional experiences that bring liberty from distorted ways of interpreting other peoples’ behaviour so they can build satisfying relationships. Seeing clients grow in freedom and contentment is deeply rewarding.

Painting (mainly landscapes, in oils – see is something I enjoyed hugely in teenage years and have returned to in earnest since 2018. I work mainly from photos I’ve taken, enjoying the glory of the created world. The entire process, while full of challenges and setbacks, is fascinating, fun and, again, deeply rewarding. Even a disappointing final result means something learned, and a painting I feel proud of and grateful for is truly – in Keats’ words – ‘a joy forever’.

Describe a tool, technique or practice that makes a difference to your work.

Taking black & white photos on my iPhone of paintings in progress helps me see their tonal values more clearly, and correct accordingly.

What’s your most valuable skill?

Breathing. I’ve found it invaluable.

What advice do you most need to hear?

Take this seriously.

Suggest an endearing and humorous question for question number five – and answer it.

What makes you think you are question number five? Question one included three questions and question 2 was not a question. Which makes you question number six. You are a fraud and an impostor.