I have been working in the field of mental health for nearly 16 years. Before that I had spent over ten years in various office jobs eventually building up to becoming a network engineer for a major mobile phone company.
I was never happy or settled though and I started an evening Psychology course at The University of Birmingham in 2003. This was the catalyst for a complete career change as I found the whole course so amazingly interesting.
I began looking for jobs in the mental health field and was lucky enough to get a job as a support worker in a residential Therapeutic Community in Birmingham that worked with people diagnosed with a personality disorder.
My monthly wage more than halved and it was the scariest, yet the most amazing thing I ever experienced and though I was often uncertain and anxious – constantly feeling out of my depth – I found the work and the clients so inspirational I could not leave. In 2005 I began four years of training and I qualified as a psychotherapist in 2009.
I haven’t looked back since.
I have a unique mix of knowledge, experience and skills that I have constantly added to and built upon over the years. Having worked in many different therapeutic environments for so long and learning so much about how different behaviours, issues, traumas, experiences can influence a person’s thoughts and feelings through that work, my therapy practice recognises the need to provide a very calm, safe and boundaried space to talk about and explore anything that affects your quality of life or your ability to enjoy your experience of life and the people in it.
I am a humanistic practitioner working with people flexibly and always with their needs at the forefront of any work we do. Every person is different and has different needs and requirements in terms of support and therefore I believe my experience in working in different environments, using different techniques and theories means I am able to work successfully with a wide variety of people with lots of different issues successfully.
The space I offer people is safe and always confidential. Trust is such an important part of counselling it does not work effectively without it, therefore I never expect people to trust me blindly, rather I offer the chance to make for people to make their own minds up on whether I am the right counsellor for them.
I have well over 3200 hours of post qualification experience and I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I abide by their Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
I have worked with clients experiencing issues such as self harm, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, addictions, abuse, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, grief/loss and trauma. I have also worked in both private practice and residential settings with people who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder or have a dual diagnosis. Previously I have taught counselling skills to level 3 & 4 counselling students. I have worked in Birmingham, London, Lincoln, Liverpool, Chester Thailand and now Bromsgrove.
Being able to help people through difficult experiences or times of their lives is an amazing and rewarding experience. To see people move forward beyond their anxiety, depression or whatever they have come into counselling for, then begin to move forward with their life and start to live again is one of the joys of counselling for me.
The same is true of people who have experienced trauma or loss, or maybe just the person who doesn’t feel right and isn’t sure why. I have helped hundreds of people move forward and grow in the way they wished to and often didn’t believe was possible.
To me, being able to work the way I do with people means counselling is not just a job to me, it is my privilege to have helped and continue to help so many people to move forward in their lives.
I often say I have the best job in the world, and I genuinely believe that to be true.
I have used a lot of therapy rooms over the years, some have had hospital beds in them, some have have massage therapy tables in them, one had a full size plastic skeleton hanging in it! Most often they have kind of had a ‘Grandmother’s Parlour’ energy, lots of flowery things, gingham, pieces of wood hanging on the wall and trinkets lying around (often with positive affirmations on them, ‘I see the perfection in all my flaws and all my genius‘, that kind of thing).
I moved into my office in August last year and it is still a work in progress, but it is taking shape. I am trying to make it a warm and comfortable space to be in. I am a bit of a book nerd and having the therapy and other books I have aquired over the years next to me as I work makes me happier than it possibly should, and they often help me during a session.
I believe that what I do is important, if you are considering contacting me and enquiring about therapy, then at some point you may be putting a very high level of trust in me and you need to feel safe and comfortable in your surroundings to do so, which is the reason I am showing you what my room looks like on the website.
You can be expected to be offered a nice coffee and a biscotti on arrival (you will need to tell me if you take milk though as I rarely have it in the fridge), with the option of a herbal or mint tea, or just a bottle of water if you prefer. I can also guarantee that there are no positive affirmations in sight and there is nothing in there that will invite you to aim for the stars or similar. You will be offered a professional, objective, caring and supportive set of ears, and a space where you can work on yourself and your issues away from the distractions of everyday life.