A moment that changed me: ‘I visited a therapist – who offered me an exorcism’

I thought I was going for a routine therapy session. But Wendell had other ideas

In July 2007, I visited a shaman by accident. My wife had an appointment with a therapist called Wendell and, unable to attend, she offered it to me. As I ascended the stairs in Notting Hill, I mused on the fact that I had once worked as a film editor at a company on Wendell Road in Shepherd’s Bush. I hadn’t thought about that job for years; it was before I became a father, a comedy writer, a musician and a voice artist – and developed the calm exterior that belied my turbulent, contradictory internal state. It had been 22 years but being cast back to that time made me shudder, as though a wave was passing through me.

As I stopped on the landing, the door opened. Wendell, an African-Caribbean man of about 40, stared at me in a way I didn’t expect from a welcoming therapist. He tilted his head to one side as if to say: “What’s the story?”

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