After twenty years developing computer systems for aerospace, I changed career and returned to something I had briefly experienced in my early working life. Back then I had been briefly involved in youth work, and I wanted to return to more personally relating with and helping people. Counselling was a suggestion from a dear friend.
Reading a few books on the subject allowed me to decide what approach to initially study. The three most prevalent approaches were person-centred, psychodynamic and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Person-centred seemed the best fit for me. Click here for more information on the range of counselling theories, or click here for my personal description of the person-centred approach in itself. My initial counselling training (PG.Dip Couns) was then in Person-Centred Therapy, and was supplemented by a Masters (MA) in Counselling Studies which broadened my understanding of the field.
Whilst ongoing training continues to broaden my knowledge, I remain holding tight to my person-centred roots and practice. I qualified as a supervisor and offer supervision, and ongoing professional development has covered couples and group work, and working with children. Click here for information on how I work.
For over a decade I worked in a Hospice, working with patients and their relatives, as well as working with the bereaved. The multi-disciplinary team approach allowed me to develop very clear boundaries and limits in my work, informally referring on to other teams with the full agreement of the clients I worked with. I have walked beside people facing physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual distress, fuelling and sharing their journey as they found their way forward.
Like my private practice which ran alongside, the Hospice allowed me to offer an unlimited number of sessions as well as maintaining a truly person-centred approach in terms of not having to remain within a limited remit. This allowed me to develop great trust in clients finding their own way forward, with me there to ensure progress was made in whatever direction taken.
Although strengthened by my studies of person-centred philosophy, I already believed we are each the expert in our own personal being. What I bring to the table is the ability to enable a shared exploration, intent on allowing each person I meet to find their way forward in life. In doing so, I draw on my own experience in life, as a counsellor and in other roles, in order to find greater understanding of what it is that we are faced with. Experience of such personal explorations in counselling has proved to me that a trustworthy way forward emerges.