Where are they now: interview with Orli Nyles

Orli Nyles

With a background as a Jazz musician and teacher it would be fair to say that Orli didn’t have the most conventional route to the Tavistock but as we trace her journey to and through the six years of her training connected themes emerge. Orli was a successful professional musician with 15 years as performer, teacher and a passion for working with excluded and marginalised children and adolescents. This shaped an interest and curiosity to embark upon training in mental health as she enrolled on ‘Dynamics of Mental Health Practice’ followed by Foundations of psychodynamic psychotherapy (D58) and Forensic psychodynamic psychotherapy (D59F) (the Forensic pathway).

Like many students, at times she has found the rigorous nature of study at the Tavistock challenging, the “imposter syndrome”, the challenging academic essays and she is particularly grateful to her tutors who supported her throughout. She discusses the ability of her tutors to use clinical material to make theory come alive and adaptations made to see her dissertation a success within the depths of lockdown as she progressed through her training.

Interest in forensics was catalysed on her first placement where she became part of the team in a Medium Secure Hospital and later employed as a music teacher in a Medium Secure Adolescent Unit. Her skills in music made her a natural asset to the Arts Therapies team at the hospital, a role she retains to this day where she co-facilitates the patient band each week. Her work in forensic services led her to taking the Forensic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy D59 F as her qualifying course and work as an honorary psychotherapist at the Portman clinic.

Far from the archetype of the stoic psychotherapist Orli is an animated interviewee, an energetic presence, her eyes alight and she sits forward in her seat when she describes her placements at the Portman clinic. There is a common theme between connecting Orli’s work with disadvantaged groups as a music teacher and her interest in forensics. As she puts it, “I like to help people find their own voice.”

In addition to her clinical work, Orli maintains positions with a variety of music groups that champion disadvantaged young people and also works with a group offering psychotherapy to women who have been involved in the criminal justice system. It is a testament to her boundless energy that she has managed to keep all of these interests going whilst managing her studies.

It seems graduates of D59F are in demand! Congratulations to Orli on taking up her first post qualification role as a psychotherapist within a CMHT. When we ask her about the long-term future she replies without hesitation “work at the Portman,” and we certainly would not bet against her.

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