The Practice Rooms Salisbury is both very central and a hidden treasure. Located on Catherine Street, it is just yards away from the Guildhall and Market Square and yet you could be forgiven for not knowing of its existence. Discretion is our watchword, so our blue door is tucked quietly between the Trussell Trust on one side and a photo shop on the other. Many people who come to the centre for the first time have not noticed it before.
Salisbury is one of the earliest centres set up by our MD Angus Landman who founded The Practice Rooms as a company. It is a thriving centre but also quiet compared with some of the other centres. Practitioners know they can always find rooms. Some of our longest-serving practitioners with well established practices have regular days of the week and their own favourite rooms. It is lovely to know you are bound to see them on those days. They are like anchors in the sea of a busy therapeutic week.However there is also a steady stream of new joiners across the year, and fresh faces to chat to in the kitchen.
Most of our practitioners members are engaged in talking therapies, and there are all age-ranges among clients and patients. We have one autism assessor and two sleep specialists. We are currently ‘between’ acupuncturists and homeopaths. As the military services are an important community in Salisbury it is an honour to have more than one PTSD specialist on board. We also grant free of charge room use to the charity Combat Stress who work with injured veterans.
Each of our seven rooms have the character of an old building with gently curving floors and ceiling lines. The sturdy ancient wooden frame of the building is a living thing constantly and imperceptibly changing.
Salisbury is unique in the country in having medieval ‘chequers’ dating back to the thirteenth century. These are a grid-like pattern of buildings otherwise unheard of from such an early era, and special to Salisbury. The design of streets running parallel to each other, north-south and east-west, resulted in the formation of chequer squares. Each chequer has its own unique name, and their central areas were originally the gardens of the homes and businesses which occupied the ‘tenements’ that faced the streets. The Practice Rooms is in the Antelope Chequer. What would have been the garden area out the back has now been filled in with buildings but plenty of traces of the old chequer remain. This rich history and architecture is what gives the centre its special character.
As you climb the stairs you experience a sense of calm and tranquillity. A part of this is knowing that people have been living out their lives in this building for over eight hundred years, struggling, resolving, healing, supporting each other. It is good to feel that The Practice Rooms shines a little light across the ages.