I have been working as a counsellor since 2015. Before this I was a primary school teacher and school leader in London. I loved teaching and working with families but, like many teachers I became disenchanted with the education system.
Retraining as a counsellor taught me a lot about myself and about how to help people understand themselves better. I have worked in a variety of settings, including a hospice, schools, and in private practice. I also run my own counselling organisation - Teaching with Heart - which provides support to teachers in their own schools.
For three years I worked with patients and their families in a hospice in the Midlands. Working with this client group was a privilege, and I learnt a huge amount about what is truly important in life. Being so close to death gives you a new perspective on life, and teaches you the importance of taking risks and making changes while you have the opportunity. As a result I am particularly alive to the 'big questions' that may underlie clients' issues, and am not afraid to open them up, if that's what a client wants.
I am a registered member of the BACP - the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy - which means that I abide by the ethical standards set by the body. You can find out more about this at the BACP's website. It also means that I am always seeking to improve and learn, and have attended a variety of continuing professional development since training. I am currently awaiting confirmation of accreditation, which is a recognition by the BACP of a counsellor's experience, knowledge and skill.
Qualifications & Memberships
MSc Counselling Psychology, Keele University (2015)
Registered BACP member (since 2015)
BACP accreditation pending
PGDip Clinical Supervision, Derby University (ongoing)
PGCert Education, Middlesex University
MA Continental Philosophy, Warwick University
BA Philosophy, London Schools of Economics
My primary training is in the person centred approach. This type of counselling puts you, the client, in the driving seat, as it's your experiences, opinions and priorities that set the agenda. Having been a client with a variety of therapists, I know how important it is to be genuinely listened to, heard and taken seriously. I will always endeavour to understand you from your perspective, and not to judge, pigeon-hole or presume that I know what your life is like.
However, as I have gained more experience as a counsellor, I have come to believe that having someone listen to you and understand you is not always enough. Sometimes you need to hear from someone with a different perspective, or to try out a new way of thinking or behaving. For this reason I now describe my approach as pluralistic - I will draw from a range of approaches and techniques if I think they will be useful for you. But you are always in charge: if you don't think something I've suggested will be useful, or if you think I've got something wrong, you will always have the final word.
Ultimately, I believe it is the relationship that heals, so I put all of my effort as a counsellor into building strong, respectful and resilient relationships with my clients. You are the one who can make changes, and I will be there with you in whatever role is needed.
What I can help with
I am confident that my training has given me the skills and experience to work with whatever issues you bring. However, it may be that we are not a 'good fit', or that my approach is not right for you. You may want a counsellor who is more directive, for example, or who sits back and listens more, or just someone who looks different! There's no way of knowing until you try - give me a call and we can discuss where you're at and what you hope to change.