I am a fully qualified and experienced counsellor having practised as a therapist since 2011 when I gained my Diploma of HE in Contemporary Psychodynamic Counselling at the University of Leicester. For most of the time since then I have volunteered as an Honorary Therapist within an NHS Psychotherapy Service, where I support people with complex mental health needs. It is a role that I deeply believe in as I very much regret the extent to which the issues of depression anxiety, emotional distress and mental illness suffer unfairly from stigma and denial. It is directly because of this, I believe, that there is a continuing lack of support and services in this area of vital need.

Before training as a therapist I spent 30 years working within the field of social care, during which time I supported people from a wide range backgrounds and cultures. A summary of my experience is as follows:

Counselling support for adults with complex mental health needs.

Counselling support for young people and adults from minority sexuality, gender identity, and ethnic communities

Emotional and practical support for children and young people with cancer and their families.

I've also provided bereavement support for adults with terminal illness and also their carers and families

I have also supported young people transitioning from local authority care onto independent living; and also Young Carers.

Support for children, young people and families finding themselves in vulnerable circumstances

I also have extensive experience in the provision of support, training and supervision of social care and NHS professional staff, particularly regarding topics relating to reflective practice and emotional self-care.
With the highly desirable outcome being the achievement and maintainance of a high standards of practice when working with clients - in addition to the avoidance of 'burnout' or 'vicarious traumatisation' for professional staff.

Moreover, I'm now very pleased to confirm that, following training with the Online Therapy Institute, my practice has now expanded to include the provision of online counselling utilising encrypted email and instant chat/messenger platforms as methods of communication.

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Professional Memberships

I am a registered member of both the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Health and Care Professionals Council; and it is my membership of these organisations that provides you with an absolute assurance that I practise within an ethical framework that ensures that I maintain clearly identified standards and competencies. Should you come to believe I have fallen short of these requirements and you feel you have not received a satisfactory response when raising them with me, both bodies have a freely available complaints procedure which you may access should you feel it necessary.

Counselor Registration Body; BACP Logo and Link
Therapist Registration Body: HCPC Logo and Link

Counselling Practice

My practice has developed over an extended period of time from the wealth of experience and learning I gained over the course of my career within the social care field. It is fundamentally based on an understanding that the primary focus for us all lies in the need to feel 'connected' within a healthy relationship with the most important people in our lives. Furthermore, anxiety and distress arise when we find these relationships are failing to provide us with the nurture, care or security that we seek for us to enjoy our everyday sense of wellbeing.

Moreover, the special enjoyment I experienced when supporting young people and young adults gave me an in-depth insight into the particular needs and ‘gaps’ in the level of support for such young people. Indeed an important reason for the expansion of my face to face practice to include online counselling arose from my understanding that many young people today find ‘traditional’ therapy at the very least slightly daunting and certainly not tailored to the manner in which they communicate generally today – and thus, as research is demonstrating, it comes far more naturally for such young people to access therapy in an online format.

Personal Experiences

Like many of us, I've also experienced challenges in my own personal life: not only in terms of bereavement and loss, as well as relationship difficulties - but also in having explored and accepted my own personal identity and individuality.

Moreover, I've also experienced the isolation and frustrations of living with long-term chronic illness, from which I'm happy to say I have now recovered.

The positive effect of these experiences is that they have given me a genuine insight into the challenges faced by people facing similar circumstances - meaning that I am even more able to provide a truly empathic listening ear by which to support your own unique and personal journey towards a sense of self-fulfilment.

Difference and Diversity

As I developed, both personally and professionally, I recognised the fundamental emotional impact we all experience when being seen as being ‘different’. These feelings might arise from very obvious differences, such as race, culture, ability etc - however, they can also arise from feeling ‘different’ from, or the ‘scapegoat’ of our family, school or social networks. Closer to home we might feel pressurised into an ‘identity’ or sexuality by close family members that just does not ‘fit’ with the way we truly feel inside. This can lead us to a deep sense of unease that we are not ‘seen’ or ‘connected’ to the people who matter most to us.

What I bring as a counsellor, I think, is the breadth and depth of experience that I have gained throughout my personal and professional life - and it is this that enables me to provide you with a non-critical, safe space within which we can explore and seek to understand these and any other difficulties you may be experiencing. In partnership with you I can help you gain insights into how best you can improve not only your emotional wellbeing but also the quality and enjoyment of your relationships with the people who mean the most to you.