Life experiences
Growing up, I was curious about people and their stories from an early age. I read many books and studied foreign languages at school which seemed a good way of learning about others and the world. After a first degree in English and German, I worked in academia and business, and I completed a doctorate on post-war poetry.

When I struggled in an important relationship, I reluctantly tried psychotherapy. Although it wasn’t easy to open up, I found the sessions surprisingly helpful. With the support of my therapist, I discovered things about myself I had been quite unaware of. I related better to myself and others, and my life became better overall. 

Twenty years ago, family circumstances brought me from my native Germany to England. I noticed how transitioning languages, cultures and eventually nationalities challenged and enriched me. I worked in Adult and Further Education where I met people from various backgrounds. Despite differences, everybody was trying their best to lead a good life. However, sometimes external barriers and inner struggles created blocks. Mindful of my own experience of therapy, I became interested in studying counselling as a mature learner. 

Training
I began volunteering for Victim Support and did a Cert HE in psychodynamic Counselling at the University of Leicester. Although fascinated by unconscious processes, I wanted a warmer, more relational approach which I found at the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute in Nottingham. During an MSc course in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, I learned how humans form their self, and that we are by nature both resilient and sensitive. I studied how to draw on various therapeutic traditions, so I can respond helpfully and effectively to each person’s unique situation.

As a trainee, I worked for Rutland House Counselling and Psychotherapy, a private practice in the centre of Leicester, and for Kettering Mind, a resource centre for people with mental health issues.  I gained experience in helping people with relationship issues; anxiety; depression; and anger. For my thesis, I focused on the practice of self-care. I also have special expertise around being a carer; living with a long-term condition; living with medically unexplained symptoms; living with somebody with a mental health problem; multicultural and intercultural living; and disordered eating.