Introducing Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet is the owner of Sweet Mental Health. Read on to find out more about his story in becoming a Mental Health Counsellor.

Matthew Sweet from Sweet Mental Health, Mental Health Support in Exeter and online

Would you prefer to work with a male counsellor?

There are many reasons that some people prefer to work with a male counsellor, as a child, you may have looked up to and respected your caregivers and some of you may have had a male figure that you viewed as a role model. For others, there could have been an absence of such a person.

As males develop from boyhood to adulthood we often look to others to guide us as we try to establish our position within todays society. For some men this can be confusing and being able to work with a male therapist feels safe.

For some people, no matter their gender the strong heroic characters that engender a feeling of safety come from films, books, social media or even computer games.  These are often male and whilst I am not a Hollywood hero, I can work with you to develop a counselling relationship that feels safe and secure.

Many women prefer to work with a male counsellor too, this could be because they want to explore the masculine side of society or themselves, being used to working or living with men or having something they feel that a male counsellor could help them explore in a different way.

I feel that it is important to find a sense of self in personal counselling which will enable us to explore where your influences have come from and how they share your interactions with the wide world.

What motivates me as a private therapist?

I am a life long learner and realised that looking at mental health and psychological well-being as a postgraduate student while working as a private therapist would be me living my best life. So after many chats with friends, coffees and the odd slice of cake, Sweet Mental Health was born.

As the next academic year unfolds it will be a great privilege for me to be able to study and gain awareness around social psychology, cognitive and developmental psychology and biology psychology in a Masters of Science at the University of Exeter.

As a graduate with a BA (Hons) from University of Worcester, I can wholeheartedly share that studying is stressful. However it really helps to develop a new and brighter vision of the sense of self. The knowledge that we grow most when outside of our comfort zones really has helped me carry on in the face of schedules and deadlines.

As a family man I felt that my children gave me a sense of purpose and that the great my knowledge, the more I would be able to care for their whole wellbeing. I find, like a lot of people, that caring for others is often easier than self care, and this led me to ask, how is that I can work hard, for long periods but not care for myself?

It is for reasons like this that I enjoy the specialism of being a behavioural therapist, because like many of you; I am a person trying develop greater self awareness.

My passion for working as a behavioural therapist links with other qualifications I have that enable me to observe and support the balance of clients. My additional qualifications are as a personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, mindfulness teacher and Hatha Yoga teacher. I welcome conversation around how the body, mind and self is interconnected in many ways including through nutrition.

These additional qualifications enabled me a greater understanding of what works and what does not work for individuals. As an example, I cannot sit for prolonged periods in meditation as my body and mind struggle to be still, and I understand that this is work in progress for me. Likewise, I now know that when I feel emotional and vulnerable there is need for extra self care and support.

As a therapist I aim to provide a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space that will allow you to explore what it means to truly be you.

I’ve lived an experienced life

Whilst in my previous career, as a high-speed train driver, there were occasions when a drive for a materialistic lifestyle created some unhealthy behaviour patterns. The end of the line came when I realised that the balance of my life was off. When I was in that career, I never found the strength or courage to trust in therapy, I didn’t have the confidence to look inside myself, to be emotionally vulnerable. I didn’t have the ability to be able to sit with the discomfort of not knowing how to be.

The journey to where I am now has not been easy. Reflecting on my past I can say to my clients, that we are on a relation-ship journey” and that life is meant to have the peaks and troughs of a ship moving across the oceans.

I now understand that the most important relationship we have is with ourselves and that all our interactions with others stem from this relationship.

As a practitioner, I have private therapy sessions to enable me to continue to grow and I have regular supervision to ensure that I practice safely as a professional.

How can personal counselling help you?

Let us face it: life can be difficult. It most certainly is difficult to remain open to vulnerability especially when society has unhealthy types of masculinity and an adverse reaction to men being sensitive. And yet, our human form whether content or challenged with mental health balance can sometimes feel lonely. Even if you have it all. I can relate to this message.

Finally, I would add that observing and refining behaviour is a daily challenge. I do not believe in a ‘one-size fits all’ model in mental health and self-awareness. Yes, we are all humans who deserve to coexist with compassion and happiness. We are all individuals with a past, and present. And yet, there are many people who are challenged by this belief system. I would add, that if anything of what I have added here grates on you, or causes further questions then ask, ‘what is going on for me right now?’

That was where it all began for me…

Sweet Mental Health - Smiley face illustration

Bespoke Counselling Package

50-minute Integrative Counselling sessions (weekly or fortnightly).
Online, telephone or face to face appointments in Gandy Street, Exeter.
Only £49 per session

“Through the mindfulness practice with Matt, complemented with Yoga the transformation I feel in me is just outstanding. Having readjusted my approach to me and my life as a whole, I can honestly confess to loving the ‘new’ me. Being calmer, patient, receptive and therefore realising that I achieve so much more from my day to day living is possibly the most valuable tool we can give ourself”

Kerry Godley-McAvoy, Event & Account Management, Team Army Sports Foundation

“You will not find a more professional individual than this man. Incredible listener and responder. Thoroughly trained with an immense calmness and inviting warm personality. You will meet humanity personified head on! You will feel elated when you receive help and a listening ear. Recommend thoroughly.”

Rasvinder Virdee, Torquay Photo Centre

“Matthew is kind, non judgemental and holds a level of wisdom and observance not often seen in the field of therapy. He will give you the tools you need to change your life, you just need to take the leap of faith.”

Jack Howard, Weston Super Mare