Cherry Potter is a writer, psychotherapist, and cultural commentator. ‘How Psychotherapy Helps Us Understand Sexual Relationships: Insights from the Consulting Room’ (Routledge 2019) is her most recent book. Her aim was to write an engaging and readable book about sexual relationships and psychotherapy for the general reader as well as for therapists and counsellors. She wanted her book to help ordinary people facing real problems in their own intimate relationships.
Her desire to reach a wide audience was rooted in her own personal and professional life. Cherry had made a radical career change in 2000 when she decided to train as a psychotherapist and group analyst. Before then she had been a professional writer for television, film and the theatre, she had run screenwriting workshops in many different countries in Europe and North America, and she had been Head of Screenwriting at the National Film and Television School. Whilst there she attended international film school conferences all over the world.
She has always been a feminist and was active in Women in Media encouraging more women to train as screenwriters, directors and producers. She has written 3 books about film, but she had always been fascinated by psychoanalytic thinking, so after 25 years in film education she felt it was the right time in her life to embark on a new path.
Cherry believes writing and psychotherapy are not so very different; they are both about finding ways to understand why we feel what we feel and do what we do. They are both about making connections between our past and our present lives. They are both about people struggling to understand themselves and their relationships with others. They are often both about the impact of past or current traumas and the quest for ways forward. Also, her career as a writer wasn’t over. Whilst training as a psychotherapist, Cherry published more than 30 comment and opinion pieces for The Guardian and The Times. She was also a guest speaker on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on the psychology of religious fundamentalism, and as a film commentator on Front Row and Back Row.
Since then she has used her experience as a teacher to set up workshops for psychotherapists, counsellors and group analysts. She has also been a guest speaker at psychotherapy conferences.
To read more about Cherry’s psychotherapy practice go to Brighton Psychotherapy and Counselling Practice
Cherry Potter was mentor and editor of Bad Things In The Night by Beth Ellis (Ebury Press 2010)
Within the genre of traumatic childhood memoirs Beth Ellis’ memoir shines. It is a piece of incredibly strong, moving writing – both compulsively readable and heart-rendingly evocative. Beth Ellis grew up with her mother and controlling stepfather, in the secretive sect of a Jehovah’s Witness community.
From a young age Beth was brutally sexually abused by her stepfather, whilst also being punished for transgressing his strict religious beliefs. When Beth’s mother tried to leave her husband and take her children the community closed around the father, forbade her from seeing her children, and the abuse worsened. Beth was left abandoned in the loneliest of places – that of the powerless child, suffering at the hands of a perverted adult, her decline ignored by the community which should have been caring for her.
In her early twenties Beth decided to report her stepfather to the police. With the help and encouragement of Cherry Potter, Beth’s battle against the ineffective authorities and her post-traumatic stress was widely reported in the national media. Together with Cherry as mentor Beth began to write about her experiences. This is a uniquely good book, in a very popular market.
“Not only a courageous woman who has been through hell, but also a brilliant writing talent” (David Leigh, Guardian)