Sasha Bates

Sasha was educated in the very contrasting towns of Slough and Eastbourne, then at the equally contrasting  Universities of York, Strasbourg and Nanjing. This weird and wonderful mix somehow led to acceptance on the BBC’s Graduate Training Scheme and work on programmes as varied as Watchdog, Live and Kicking, Bookworm, QED, One Foot in the Past, and Rolf’s Amazing World of Animals (less said about that the better nowadays).

Eighteen years in the TV industry passed, during which life in the BBC gave way to the more exciting freelance world, and to varied contracts with C4. Directing on Location, Location, Location and Grand Designs led to more property involvement when she was promoted to the role of Series Producer on Property Ladder. With far less logical progression this then somehow led to her Series Producing the very far from property-related shows, How to Look Good Naked and Embarrassing Bodies.


Although she loved directing and producing TV, after eighteen years in the industry (and having seen far more naked bodies than she ever thought possible in a work, or indeed any, context) Sasha felt the need to try something new. She was drawn to a second career in a field she had benefited from personally and had always been fascinated by – psychotherapy.


She re-trained as an integrative psychotherapist, gaining an MA, a Diploma in Counselling and an Advanced Diploma in integrative psychotherapy from The Minster Centre in London.


Along the way (psychotherapy being a very long, if rewarding, 6 year training) Sasha also managed to carve out time for two other part-time freelance careers – one as a travel journalist, writing for the broadsheets, Psychologies magazine, and the website Queen of Retreats – and one as a yoga teacher.


Once fully qualified as a psychotherapist Sasha worked in the NHS, in higher education, and  started up her own private practice. She gained a reputation as an embodied therapist, her yoga teaching having given her a good understanding of the mind body connection. This ensured a steady stream of clients, many with deep rooted somatic issues such as PTSD, dissociation, and eating disorders, alongside others with the more common presentations anger, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and of course bereavement – the one thing none of us can ever avoid, as she was later to discover herself.


Before long Sasha was able to combine her two new careers – therapy and yoga – by doing an additional training in “Trauma Sensitive Yoga” (TSY). This is a specialised type of yoga, rooted in therapeutic trauma theory, focused on helping those suffering from PTSD and other complex trauma to regain a relationship with their bodies. She began using this knowledge of the embodiment of trauma, and her yoga experience, to teach workshops to other therapists. These covered subjects such as: what yoga can offer therapist and client, how Trauma Sensitive Yoga can help traumatised psychotherapy clients, and the importance of self-care for those in the caring professions. She is still teaching those workshops on request.


After the death of her husband, Bill, Sasha put her psychotherapy practice on hold in order to grieve, and to write a book about her experience – Languages of Loss, out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook, with the paperback due in April 2021.A second book, A Grief Companion, is to be published in June 2021


With the publication of Languages of Loss coinciding with the start of the Covid pandemic Sasha found herself asked to write, and speak, more generally about loss, a subject touching more people than ever before. She began teaching more workshops, this time on grief itself. One of these workshops is designed for therapists working with the bereaved, while another is for anyone who is grieving, or supporting someone who is grieving. Please go to the psychotherapy page for details of Sasha’s latest workshops, or if you have a literary or event-related enquiry please contact her agent,  Jane Graham Maw at Graham Maw Christie.