I wasn't always a counsellor - my first degree was in music, whilst my first career was in teaching where I worked as a vocal tutor and piano teacher in primary and secondary schools. It was later that I decided to re-train as a mental health practitioner - my primary motivation was that I wanted to help others to overcome the many difficulties that life can throw at us.
I began my journey into mental health by volunteering for a local NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service where I co-facilitated courses on anxiety and low mood, teaching cognitive-behavioural techniques and psycho-education to groups of adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties. I enjoyed this role very much and therefore decided to embark upon completing formal counselling training with a view to applying for job roles within NHS mental health services.
Initially I just wanted to learn the basic skills I needed to be better able to listen to others and that provided a stepping stone to getting the job that I really wanted. Despite this, my first ever counselling skills course meant so much more to me than simply ticking a box, it was an eye-opener to how powerful listening and attending to another human being can be. I realised that I wanted to understand more than the basics and went on to complete the full Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling that has enabled me to work as a professional counsellor.
Upon completion of my counselling diploma I decided that I wanted to undertake further study in the area of psychology - what I wanted was to better understand the research base and theory that underpinned my therapeutic practice. I am glad that I did this as I frequently draw upon my education in psychology during my work with clients. As well as enhancing my therapeutic practice, I hope to use my psychology degree to conduct research into effective, evidence-based treatments for a variety of psychological difficulties. I am particularly interested in researching the active role that clients play in their own therapy and how this impacts therapeutic outcomes.
Another of my interests is in obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition to my work as a counsellor, I also volunteer for Orchard OCD - a charity that exists to advance global research into the treatment of this debilitating mental health condition.
I continue to enjoy learning about counselling, psychotherapy and psychology and I am always striving to deepen my understanding, develop my skills and broaden my knowledge - I see this as an important part of my job as a counsellor.
This has been a brief overview of my journey into counselling but if you require any further information you are welcome to contact me.
Qualifications & Training
Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling
BA (Hons) Music
Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS)
I am fully insured with cover for professional indemnity and public liability.
I hold an enhanced DBS certificate which is registered with the DBS update service.
I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office - my registration number is ZA841449.