A former model, Elaine Slater is a resident psychologist for the British Fashion Council as well as a private practitioner and certified Life Coach. Based at Wimpole Street in London, she’s also a consultant psychologist at The Priory Hospital and co-founder of bespoke wellness brand, Inara Escapes. Find out how she made the shift from the fashion world to counselling, coaching and inspiring others...
Why did you decide to become a psychologist?
I had been focusing on my own journey of self-development for a number of years. I practised Kundalini yoga and meditation amongst other things, and was and still am a Buddhist. Continuing my journey of self discovery from a psychological perspective seemed like the logical next step. I was fortunate enough to discover an amazing psychology course that not only nourished my soul and enriched my life but also allowed me to discover and develop a meaningful and purposeful career.
When was your big break?
In terms of my career as a psychologist I wouldn’t necessarily say I have had a ‘big break’. I constantly feel inspired and blessed to have found my mission in life and a meaningful career. If I was to use the term ‘big break’ at all, it would be in the context of having discovered this amazing work in the first place.
What does an average day look like for you (if there ever is one?!)
I’m not sure I have an average day as such. Often my weeks are quite diverse outside of my clinical practice. I am based at my consulting room on Wimpole Street a couple of days a week. I spend one day consulting at The Priory Hospital, a private psychiatric facility where I meet with in-patients and out-patients. Some of the week is dedicated to my company Inara Escapes , where I spend most of my time in creative meetings and discussions about the brand. The rest of the time; I could be working with an actor on location, based at London Fashion Week in my capacity as the BFC’s resident psychologist or consulting for a corporation or brand.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy being of use.
Are there any aspects of your job that you find tough?
I’m not sure that I would describe any aspect of my work as ‘tough’ rather what can be heartbreaking is hearing how someone has suffered in their life and endured all sorts of difficulties and pain. It is a constant privilege to witness a client’s intimate story of suffering and wounding. I am always deeply inspired and full of hope that healing and change will come because they have had the courage to take the first step and come and talk about it.
What's the most common question you get asked by clients?
More often than not a client will be looking for some sort of reassurance that things will eventually get better.
Who's your team 'me'? Who do you rely on to keep you happy, healthy and sane?
My Buddhist practice is at the core of my life, reminding me every day how fortunate I am. It keeps me grounded and sane from the feet up. Also, I’m blessed to have incredible loved ones who keep it real and fill my life with love, laughter and good wine!
How is your industry changing?
I think younger generations are very open and relaxed about the idea of therapy. They see it as a means of self development and a healthy tool rather than some sort of scary diagnosis that they could be ‘mentally ill’. The stigma associated with the idea of talking therapy appears to be fading – it is fast becoming a healthy wellbeing choice; to know who you are and how you feel.