In the ninety-fourth episode of The Just Checking In Podcast we checked in with Figen Murray.
Figen is a former psychotherapist, life coach and author of the book ‘Bears Have Issues Too’.
Figen worked as a counsellor for over 23 years and offered clinical supervision to other counsellors as well.
She is the mother of five children but on 22nd May 2017, her life changed forever.
One of her children, Martyn attended a concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.
Little did Martyn know that a terrorist was amongst the crowd and a bomb went off, killing Martyn along with 21 other people.
It was a moment that shocked and devastated the entire country, with many wondering how a bomb could be smuggled into a venue like that with so many people in attendance.
From that moment on, Figen gave up her career as a therapist to advocate for greater security at venues like the Manchester Arena and began speaking at schools, universities and conferences, talking to children and trying to stop attacks at the MEN happening in the future.
She is the architect behind ‘Martyn’s Law’, a campaign which calls for entertainment venues to improve security against the threat of terrorism and would like to make it a requirement in legislation that all venues in Manchester and cities and towns across the UK have a counter-terrorism plan. Her petition to make Martyn’s Law mandatory has received over 23,000 signatures.
On top of all that, to help people feel less alone, Figen knits bears and gives them personalities and backstories that often relate to mental illness.
In this episode we talk about her counselling journey and how even therapists need therapy themselves, Martyn’s life, the events surrounding his passing, how she carries his memory with her today and what she hopes to achieve with Martyn’s Law.
As always, #itsokaytovent
Find out more about Figen’s work here.
You can follow Figen on social media below:
TRIGGER WARNING: this podcast contains a deep discussion about grief and loss, which some listeners may find extremely upsetting or distressing, so please listen with caution.