Interview Corner

LAABh – Interview with Mrs. Uxshely Carcamo

Mrs. Uxshely Carcamo is a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, registered nutritionist and ex-lawyer that helps individuals to re-build their relationship with food. After spending some time working as a corporate lawyer, she decided to re-train in a range of disciplines which would allow her to enhance the health of others both physically and mentally, including psychotherapy, biomedicine, hypnotherapy, public health nutrition, meditation and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Mrs. Carcamo founded The Food Therapy Clinic, wherein she combines several of these techniques and disciplines to help her clients to optimise their food choices; deal with their eating disorders; break free of the vicious dieting cycle, and to feel great about themselves and their bodies.

Q. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your life at law school?

I am a psychotherapist, nutritionist and ex-lawyer that is based in the United Kingdom. My family is of Indian origin (both of my parents are Gujarati but were born in Uganda) however I was born and raised in London.  I went to the University of Oxford to study law and really enjoyed my time there.  The best thing about the law curriculum at Oxford was that we were really encouraged to think creatively about the law and taking an innovative approach to legal problems was really encouraged.  However, I did find myself spending a lot of time at law school pursuing other hobbies: I was in an acapella jazz singing group and spent a lot of time singing; I was also in several plays and musicals throughout the year and spent a lot of time salsa dancing.  So whilst I really enjoyed my time at law school, probably a lot of my time there was spent doing things other than studying law!  In fact, I was so often in rehearsals for plays and musicals that one of my law tutors asked why I was studying law and not thinking about a career in the performing arts – at the time I took offence to the question but in hindsight, I think he was right that my heart wasn’t ever really in the legal profession.

Q. What was your motivation behind choosing law as your career option and what then inspired you to switch to a food nutritionist?

To be honest – law seemed like a sensible career choice.  I loved learning languages and I wanted to study something that would allow me to go and live abroad for a year whilst at university. I, therefore, decided to study law and French law as it would give me the opportunity to go and live in Paris for a year.  I didn’t really know what the day-to-day life of a lawyer looked like before I made the decision to study law. Coming from an Indian background, there was a very strong cultural view that becoming a lawyer, doctor or accountant was a “sensible” career choice – so perhaps that influenced me on some subconscious level too.

Q. How did you get introduced to this field and what made you explore further? What were some crucial aspects you took into consideration before making such an important career decision?

Whilst I was working as a junior lawyer I had my own health struggles.  I was working very long hours, had very little time to sleep, wasn’t able to make time to eat during the day – and noticed both my mental and physical health deteriorating.  Throughout this period my relationship with food was also negatively affected and I found myself starving myself throughout the day but then turning to food for comfort, to manage stress and my emotions. This was very unusual for me – as someone that had never used food in this way. I wanted help to re-build my relationship with food but also to improve my mental and physical health overall so I saw lots of professionals: doctors, nutritionists, hypnotherapists, psychotherapists, coaches etc. and their help was amazing – yet I wished I could have received help for both my mental and physical health from one place or one person.  I then decided that I would like to offer this help to others under one roof – to be able to support them with both their mental and physical health at the same time.  This is when I made the decision to train as a psychotherapist, nutritionist and hypnotherapist and to use this new passion I had for wellbeing to serve others.  It may sound clichéd but it really felt like a calling – now that I had gathered so much knowledge myself, I really had to use this knowledge to help, serve and better the lives of others.

Q. Could you tell us a little about your food therapy clinic? What does a typical day in a nutritionist’s life look like?

At The Food Therapy Clinic, I run therapy sessions for my clients and also deliver workshops for groups. I now run a lot of the one-on-one therapy sessions with my clients remotely via Zoom – both due to the current climate and also because many of my clients are from different countries or cities.  I will typically hold several one-on-one sessions in a day, in which I will use psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, behaviour change techniques, nutrition advice and other techniques to help my clients to change their relationship with food.  I work with a range of issues around food: a lot of my clients struggle with binge-eating, bulimia or emotional-eating; some struggle conditions called orthorexia or ARFID, some clients want support in managing their IBS and others feel that they have an unhealthy relationship with sugar that they would like to improve. I also often run corporate workshops for clients, including law firms and banks on topics such as nutrition and eating psychology, resilience building, mental health awareness, the science of sleep and building confidence.

Q. Does having a background in law help you in your current career venture? Would you consider your experience at law school to be an asset that is complimentary to your profession today?

My legal training has really helped me to get to where I am today.  Strangely many of my clients tend to be lawyers or other professionals from the financial services sector.  I think it really helps that I can understand the nature of their work and also the unique demands and stressors that a lawyer/busy professional has to deal with.  I also run a lot of corporate workshops for law firms, banks and other companies in the financial services sector and again my legal background really helps me to do this.  Firstly, I really understand the environment in which lawyers/bankers etc. work – so I can make sure the workshops I deliver are really tailored for these professionals and what their day-to-day lives look like.  Secondly, I can really relate to these individuals and the struggles they may have experienced with their mental and physical health – because I myself went through these struggles and then developed mechanisms to cope with them more effectively.

Q. What were some of the challenges you faced while drifting away from the legal field to become a psychotherapist and a nutritionist? How did you overcome those challenges?

The biggest challenge was probably firstly having the courage to move away from what felt like a very secure and safe job.  Moving into the health and wellbeing field felt risky and I also had several people questioning my choice to do this. There was then also the challenge of finding a practical way to make this transition.  I was working part-time as a lawyer whilst I trained to become a nutritionist and psychotherapist – my job and all of the studying were of course a lot to take on in one go.  However, I would say that this journey was most definitely worth going on.  Whilst I enjoyed the legal work I was doing – I now truly feel that I am living a life of purpose and helping people in a way that gives me such a huge sense of fulfilment.

Q. Many of our readers are law students or law graduates. What are your thoughts about switching career paths to follow one’s passion after obtaining a degree in the field of law? Also, do you have any parting messages for our readers?

The message I would give to law students is: don’t feel that law has to be the end of the road for you – having a legal background gives you so many transferable skills and also the credibility to go into so many different professions.  Yes, it does take some courage to move away from a “safe” legal career and pursue something completely different – but if you don’t take the risk, you will never know how well things might work out.  I often ask my clients – if the future you, from 30 or 40 years’ time could come back and give you some advice – on what you should do with your life, what you should spend your time focusing on and what is most important to you – what would he/she say?  If you are really passionate about something and would love to spend your days focusing on this – would the future you wish that you had dedicated more time to this passion and taken the opportunity to pursue it? I can certainly say that health and wellbeing is a field that I have been so passionate about over the past 10 years – it was what I spent my free time learning about, what I loved to read about, what I was so hungry to explore in my free time – and now I have the privilege of pursuing this passion as a profession and of helping many other people in the process.  I am certainly glad I took the risk – but also thankful for the learnings and credible background that my legal training and career gave me too.

Find out more about Mrs. Uxshely Carcamo –

 

Disclaimer – All views and opinions expressed in this interview are personal and belong solely to the interviewee(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the LAABh Foundation or the individuals and institutions associated with LAABh.

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