I was introduced to counselling through my own experience of encountering the horror of panic attacks.
I felt stunned and alarmed. I thought I was content with my life? I loved my career as a fashion stylist, I was in a steady relationship and out of nowhere my life was turned upside down. I became frightened of being in crowds and confined spaces. All of this fear and panic entered my life literally overnight.
Attending therapy can still carry stigma and lack of understanding, but even more so 15 years ago. I felt apprehensive and hesitant as to how ‘talking’ to a stranger would help. I was reassured when I met Elizabeth. She was welcoming, friendly and vivacious, which put me at ease. Nothing like the visualised stereotype I had in my head of a ‘shrink.’
I liked her; I felt comfortable, I did not feel she was judging me. I felt the relationship was authentic. This enabled me to explore my thoughts and feelings amenably. This in counselling terminology is called ‘the therapeutic alliance’, fundamental to any counselling relationship.
The sessions came to an end. I had found the process of self-exploration positive and I aspired to learn more. Elizabeth suggested I attended an introduction to counselling course, as the main body of the work would facilitate additional self-awareness. At this point I had no intention of training to become a psychotherapist. However the more I learnt about myself the more my mental health improved. I then became enthralled by the models and theories of counselling. So my journey evolved and I have never looked back.
The transition from fashion stylist to counsellor may seem contrasting but in fact I have come to realise that creativeness is essential to both. The process of creativity, whether it is painting, sculpture, writing a short story or composing a song is, in my mind, a similar process to therapy. Both begin with an idea, experience, thought or feeling which is explored, developed and continued to be explored until there is a sense of resolution.
Essentially the relationship between counsellor and client is a creative collaboration. Both client and therapist test ideas and explore themes. Through allowing our minds to wander, we are being creative, expressive and valuing our own thoughts without the censorship that we can sometimes adopt through societal views about what we should think, feel or say. This is what will often lead to discoveries and eventually positive therapeutic change.
EMDR Part I, Part II, Part III and IV
Postgraduate Certificate in Attachment Theory
Certificate in Life Coaching – GROW Model
Higher Professional Dip Counselling (Distinction) – BACP accredited course
NCFE Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory – BACP accredited course
Introduction to Counselling – BACP accredited course
Training consultant, Greenwich Mind
Crisis counsellor, telephone counsellor, Greenwich Mind
Volunteer and employee at Mind working with service users for 13 years
Working with Women affected by Domestic Violence, Woman’s Trust
Author and speaker at the BACP Research Conference 2008 (Dissociative Identity Disorder)
Volunteer at Children Our Ultimate Investment (COUI)
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
Chronic Trauma and Neglect
De-mystifying Postnatal Depression
Gender and Sexual Diversity
Thinking about Gender and Sexual Diversity
Working with Anger
I have been deemed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to meet the standard of a competent, ethical and independent practitioner
In addition, I am committed to continuing professional development (CPD). This means that I am always modernising my skills and knowledge by attending regular training modules, conferences and workshops.