My Background and Experience –
mental health, counselling and mindfulness
For 20 years my professional life has been dedicated to supporting people to find their way. My first experience of counselling was in my twenties when I entered my own therapy trying to make sense of my life. I have been in “the other chair”. I understand how vulnerable we can feel opening our inner-selves to another. At the same time I know how life-changing it can be to do just that.
This experience of personal therapy sparked a wish to support others with their psychological wellbeing. So, some 20 years ago, after initial counselling skills training, I went on to gain a wealth of experience in a variety of roles, in hospital and community settings in mental health, learning disability and welfare rights. I later completed a social work/Disability studies degree to consolidate my skills.
Through this time, I worked with many individuals, from those struggling mildly to those whose functioning was severely impaired. I challenged myself to look beyond the labels people have been given, and step into each person’s unique shoes to see the world through their eyes. And from there I find it always makes sense and we have a chance to connect.
Counselling and Mindfulness
This work has been supported by a 20-year long Buddhist mindfulness practice. My practice has helped me find steadiness in challenging conditions and given me a gift for deep authentic presence and connection. I have been delighted to share these skills with others through my work, combining counselling and mindfulness.
Advanced Psychotherapeutic Counselling Training
I went on to continue my counselling training, completing the three-year Integrative Advanced Diploma in Relationally Centred Psychotherapeutic Counselling, an in-depth, leading edge training run by the Scarborough Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Institute.
I have previously worked as a counsellor in two North East charities and now work primarily in private practice and also do some counselling work for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind. I have worked with people with a range of issues including depression, anxiety and stress; relationship difficulties; trauma and dissociation (including dissociative identity disorder) stemming from childhood experiences of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect; struggles in the workplace; bullying; domestic abuse; bereavement; caring responsibilities and many more.
My Aims and Values
I offer you a supportive relationship, to help you find connection, both within yourself and with others, discover meaning in life and be free to meet your potential. I have a deep trust in the ability of human beings to move towards growth, even in the most challenging circumstances.
The circumstances of your life may have been so challenging that, like a plant placed in poor soil, you have been forced to grow in ways that you have not chosen. I believe that when the conditions of our lives are right we can really begin to thrive. I can provide those safe conditions so that you can find your way to a path of your choosing.
I have a strong commitment to anti-oppressive practice. I actively welcome people wishing to explore issues around for example sexuality, sex-based oppression, race and disability.
I will always be seeking to build on my skills through further training. I undertake training courses throughout the year in issues related to counselling. I am also committed to attending regular mindfulness training / retreats as this is vital when offering mindfulness instruction to others. I am a registered (accredited) member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and a member of the Scarborough Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Institute and work to their codes of ethics. I am in regular counselling supervision and hold a current Enhanced DBS certificate.
- Advanced (level 7) Diploma in Relationally Centred Psychotherapeutic Counselling
- BSc (Hons) Degree in Social Work/Disability Studies