Jess: on utopia, Morocco and her cat, Mittens

This month we hear from Jess, one of our therapist training coordinators who joined our COMPASS team at the start of 2019.

  • I am part of the COMPASS team helping to… ensure that therapists across all of our European trial sites receive the training and support they need in order to provide the highest standard of care for people taking part in our trial.
  • I work in mental health care because… everyone has been affected one way or another, be it through personal experience or the experiences of people close to them. Existing treatments do not work for everyone, and I believe that everyone has the right to mental wellbeing. Working towards making that equality a reality is a tremendously meaningful – and exciting! – journey.
  • The part of my job I most enjoy is… building relationships with our wonderful, compassionate and diverse team of therapists.
  • When I was a child I always wanted to… know what it was like to be an animal – especially my pet cat Mittens, or a wolf! I still hold onto this desire as an adult, but I would now define it as a sense of permanent curiosity about how others experience the world.
  • The best place I’ve ever visited is… Chefchaouen in the Rif mountains in Morocco, an otherworldly place where all the buildings are entirely blue! Waking up every day in a city the colour of the sky was a truly liberating and beautiful experience.
  • My dream one day is to… finish writing a symphony. I play and compose music for piano, but it is my ambition to complete something on a larger scale one day – and perhaps even see it performed by an orchestra!
  • The book everyone should read is…. Island by Aldous Huxley, which depicts a Utopian vision of a blissful, flourishing society under threat. I find the notion of utopias fascinating and important. Whilst it is easy to name the problems that exist in the world, it is more difficult – and in my opinion, infinitely more useful – to imagine how a better world might look.
  • The song everyone should listen to is… Emily by Joanna Newsom. The cyclical, meandering structure and the pure poetry of the lyrics leave me with a sense of wonder whenever I hear it.