Originally from England, I am in my mid 50's and have been happily settled in Scotland since my late teens. After studying philosophy and literature and spending time living and working in community with adults with learning disabilities, I trained as a teacher, and worked in further education and social work settings, particularly with people affected by disability. In the early nineties I began training as a counsellor at the Edinburgh Pastoral Foundation, and subsequently at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, gaining BACP Accreditation in 1998 and Senior Accredited status in 2005. My supervision training was with Person-Centred Therapy (Britain) and I gained my MSc from the University of Strathclyde following research into person-centred practice with bereaved people.
Over the years I have worked in NHS primary care, educational, voluntary sector, and independent settings. In 1999 I moved from Edinburgh to the Highlands where I continued to work in a variety of settings. For more than a decade, I was employed as a counsellor in hospice-based palliative care and I have developed a particular interest in working with issues related to death and dying; for those facing death and for those they leave behind.
My ongoing personal and professional development is very important. This takes many forms: formal learning through conferences; courses; webinars; reading; writing articles; and attending, contributing to, and facilitating workshops. Training events over the years have included: cognitive and behavioural aspects of person-centred therapy; human sexuality; existential perspectives on therapy; surviving the trauma of historic sexual abuse; developing understandings of trauma and post-traumatic growth; issues around anger and rage; working with issues of bereavement, change and loss; the relationship between therapy and medication; working with people experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings, the experience of shame, and many more. I attempt to practice 'relentless self care'; physical, emotional, and spiritual.
I aspire to welcome difference and diversity and to work in ways that include and welcome individuals irrespective of their race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or age.
One of the great and enduring privileges of my work is that, on a daily basis, I am reminded of and encouraged to pay attention to the things that really matter in life. Outside work, I try as best I can to pay attention to these things and to give time to the important people and concerns in my life. To relax, I spend time gardening. I love cooking and then relaxing with friends, food, drink, and enriching conversation. Music plays a very important part in my life, and I enjoy nothing more than walking and generally being outdoors, ideally with people I love. If the sun is out, so much the better.
He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people, it is people.