Entering the world of therapy

category - society
type - opinion
From advertising to therapy, Luq Adejumo came to our London office to tell us about his journey. Here, he breaks down what that journey involved and how it has revolved around the importance of human relationships

I started my career in advertising 25 years ago and at the same time I also volunteered as a Samaritan. The latter experience fostered an interest in working relationally with people to help with whatever was troubling them. It seeded an idea which led to a gradual transition from being an operations director at an advertising agency to becoming a full-time psychotherapist.

I have always had an interest in what lies behind the way in which we interact as humans. The parts of us that we choose to show and the bits that we decide to keep hidden from the world. The ease or the difficulty in relating to those around us and the reasons why we are drawn to some people and are cautious about others. This burgeoning interest would eventually lead to me leaving the profession that I’d known for half of my life for another that centred on human relationships.

My passion for advertising came from a wonder and passion for creativity. I was wowed by the ability that agencies had to encapsulate and translate an idea that resonated with people and made them aware of, or got them to consider, how they were behaving. I loved the Stella Artois, Levi’s, Tango and Smirnoff advertising campaigns when I was a kid, and my dream was to get a job in the industry.

Published by:

27 October 2022

Author: Luq Adejumo

Image: Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory


Left: The Future Laboratory CEO Cliff Bunting and Luq Adejumo. Right: Caroline Carballo for The Future Laboratory.

It took me a while to secure a graduate trainee post at a time when agencies weren’t truly diverse at a senior level from a race, sexuality or gender standpoint. I quickly became used to being the only black face in the room when agencies were mostly white spaces. Attending a school where my brother and I were the first black children to enrol strangely helped with this experience.

I have always worked at one of the top 30 creative agencies. I started in account management and ended up in project management, heading up departments at Fallon and Saatchi & Saatchi London. It was while I was at Saatchi that I decided to pursue a master’s in psychotherapy. I was wary of letting the agency know about my studies for fear that my position could be jeopardised if jobs were ever at risk at any point. It was a constant challenge to straddle both my course and the intensity of my role and this became even more difficult when I was promoted to operations director.

I qualified for my master’s degree last May after studying person-centred psychotherapy for six years. I resigned from Saatchi at the same time and joined the Oliver agency to lead their UK Operations team, but it was clear to me as soon as I joined that I was far away from the creative process and that it was the right time to leave the industry to become a full-time psychotherapist. I am currently a faculty therapist at The School of Life, an associate therapist at Therapy Harley Street and I also run Lqa therapy, my own private practice. 

‘It took me a while to secure a graduate trainee post at a time when agencies weren’t truly diverse at a senior level from a race, sexuality or gender standpoint’

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