Personal Profile & Philosophy
It was working as a house parent on a self-sufficient farm, along side adult men with learning disabilities, that the seed was first sown for me to become a counsellor. Every day was idyllic, digging in the fields for potatoes, tending plants in the garden, working in the woodwork or weaving rooms. My particular responsibility was to take a small group of men into the pottery to shape clay into plates and pots to be used in the bungalows we lived in, or sold to raise money to buy the things we couldn't produce ourselves. Although I loved my work, I became increasingly frustrated at the lack of time available to listen if someone was in distress. Being there for someone in emotional need became paramount for me and I began to think about a career in counselling. When I later began counselling training I found that receiving my own personal therapy was a requirement of the course. I was filled with trepidation. I wasn't used to talking about 'my stuff' and certainly not to a complete stranger. I worried that I would have nothing to say and that the counsellor might think that what I had to say was not important enough. I was wrong. I felt valued and respected and was able to work through unresolved issues from my past, as well as current difficulties I was experiencing.
Counselling was probably one of the most significant things that I have ever done in my life. Now when faced with problems, as we all are from time to time, I have the ability to work them through by myself. Nevertheless, I have never forgotten the courage it took for me to make that first appointment. That is why I have great respect for every client I see who has recognised that their life might not be quite what they would like it to be and has taken the decision to enter into counselling to do something about it.
I am now an integrative humanistic body therapist believing in the body/mind connection, as well as the value of mindfulness in the process. I believe that what happens in the mind is played out somewhere in the body, often producing physical symptoms. We are all aware of the headache or unsettled stomach following a stressful day. Prolonged periods of distress can lead to more serious physical problems such as high blood pressure, chronic neck or back pain and enduring skin conditions to name just a few.
On the other hand, prolonged exposure to illness, disability or pain can directly affect us at an emotional level, altering the way we think and feel. For example, self-esteem and confidence can be eroded and some people may experience depression and or anxiety. Our bodies and emotional states express our life experiences. I have often found that counselling heals both the mind and the body, bringing about a healthy feeling of well-being throughout the whole self.
While I am convinced that almost everyone can benefit from counselling, I recognise that It can take courage and determination to acknowledge the need for change and to make the decision to take that first step. However, given the opportunity and space to explore emotions and behaviour patterns, I believe it is possible for clients to access what they instinctively know is right for themselves.
I see my role is to offer a warm, sensitive and professional relationship within which clients can begin to feel safe enough to work at their own pace and depth. My fundamental belief is that everyone deserves the right to be heard and enabled to be all they can be.
I work humanistically and creatively bringing early experiences, past and present relationships and dreams into the client's awareness to be worked with here and now.
I keep my therapy room, well stocked with clay, paints, musical instruments and many other creative materials that can be used in the therapy session should clients wish to work this way. For many, talking is a more appropriate way to access inner processes. I leave it to each individual client to decide which way of working they are most confortable with.
I adhere to the B.A.C.P. code of ethics.