Qualifications and professional experience
I originally studied Social Work and graduated from Nottingham University with a BA(Hons) in 2003. Following a couple of years working for the National Probation Service helping to rehabilitate people with substance misuse issues I realised that to really support people in making positive changes I needed to be able provide therapeutic interventions that enabled them to address underlying issues. This led me to study at postgraduate level at the University of Birmingham with the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute and I graduated in 2010 with a MA in Integrative Psychotherapy.
Since then I have gained extensive experience working as an addictions counsellor within the NHS for a community mental health team where I supported patients with issues ranging from self harm, mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as well as alcohol and drug problems.
Now working in private practice I continue with my professional development and am focussed on relational approaches to enable you to live with peace and empowerment.
Areas of Specialism
Aside from 20 years working in the field of drug and alcohol addiction, my work covers a wide range of areas but however complex or unique your situation we can work together to support you in moving forward.
I also have extensive experience working with people with chronic health issues, particularly post-viral fatigue, M.E and fibromyalgia; living with conditions such as these can be a huge, unwelcome adjustment and counselling can help you move towards acceptance of a new way of living.
I am in the process of developing a short (4 - 6 weeks) programme designed to offer people with ME a way to manage symptoms and address any factors that may exacerbate improvement. Unfortunately there is no cure, at present, but some trauma based techniques integrated alongside mindful pacing can be extremely helpful in reducing aspects like pain and fatigue.
Many mental health issues can relate to trauma; whether this is developmental and chronic or due to a one-off intense experience. Support in resolving trauma, neutralising symptoms like flashbacks and developing safety protocols make up a significant part of my work.
I take a very adaptive approach, I am led by you and your needs. Having a background as I do means that I have experience of working alongside a varied client base with complex needs.
As a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy I have an ongoing commitment to cultivate personal qualities such as empathy, sincerity and respect as a matter of ethical responsibility as well as ensuring I am technically competent.
The theoretical basis that informs my work is Integrative Psychotherapy which is a therapeutic approach focused on relationship. I believe that most psychological issues stem from our relationships either in the here and now and/or past experiences in this respect. I use our relationship as a way of identifying traumas and then promote growth and healing within the therapeutic space.
I have experience of working online as I worked in the Highlands for a number of years and due to travel constraints, especially in winter, online was the only was to maintain consistent contact with some clients.
I identify as 'she/her' and am a straight white cis gendered woman. I acknowledge that I benefit from unearned privilege as a result and encourage exploration of uncomfortable realities due to discrimination and inequality.
I aim to run a body inclusive practice and welcome feedback to improve this.