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 5 Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People (in progress)
Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling
Primary Certificate in Single-Session Therapy (in progress)
BA (Hons) Music
Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP)
Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (GMBPsS)
Member of the Society for Existential Analysis
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.