I’m 47, been married for sixteen years and have a ten year old daughter and a cat. We live in a house in a quiet street, quite close to the centre of Exeter and the university – where I have a room set aside for counselling. I’ve lived in Exeter for ten years, and this quiet, leafy environment is very different from the inner city London I was born into. Growing up in a deprived area with a lot of social problems was challenging and involved many pressures, but I consider it to have been invaluable in making me the person I am. It also opened my awareness to power dynamics and the ways in which people become segregated within and isolated from society – which eventually led me to study Masters level Social Anthropology at Edinburgh University.
Fascinating though this subject area was for me, I felt I needed to do something to help people in a practical way. I turned to counselling because I have a naturally intuitive ability to ‘read’, understand and develop a rapport with a wide range of people; and noticed that many people I knew (as well as strangers!) turned to me for support. I had also been through counselling myself, and could see the benefits in having someone listen to me without judgment: helping me to understand and work through my problems. This produced many powerful, positive changes for me. However, I was also exposed to counsellors who lacked humility and sensitivity, which taught me the importance of respecting the client’s viewpoint, even if it’s different from my own. I have the relevant and necessary skills, tools and experience to work as a professional counsellor; but I see myself and the client as equals on a journey of exploration together. You, the client, are the expert on yourself and my job is to help bring this innate knowledge out of you in as humane a way as I can.
I hold a Level 4 Diploma in Integrative Counselling and a Level 6 Advanced Specialist Diploma in Couples and Relationship Counselling. I am a registered member (no. 298180) of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapists). This means I adhere to their ethical standards and abide by policies regarding confidentiality, data protection, supervision and continuing professional development. I also hold full professional and public indemnity insurance.
Training, Qualifications and Experience
Advanced Specialist Diploma (Level 6) in Couples and Relationship Counselling (Heartwood College of Counselling & Psychotherapy)
Awareness of Mental Health Problems Level 2 Certificate (The Skills Network, University of West Anglia)
ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (Exeter College)
Working with Sand Tray (Tina Hill-Art ‘Living and Life’ Training)
Focussing for Psychotherapists (Susan Jordan, British Focussing Association)
Gender Identity Awareness (Diversity Trust)
Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (Margaret Jackson Centre, Exeter)
Domestic Abuse Awareness Training (Devon County Council)
NCFE Level 3 Award in Counselling Skills and Theory (Exeter College)
Introduction to Counselling (Open University)
Masters in Social Anthropology (Edinburgh University)
I worked as a counsellor for the Margaret Jackson Centre in Exeter between 2015 and 2018.