My Professional Qualifications and Experience
I am a psychodynamic counsellor and psychoanalytic psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience. I originally trained as a teacher with a degree in education and have been supervising and training counsellors and therapists for 20 years.
My interest in counselling began very early when, as a student, I came across a charity offering telephone counselling which I later joined as a volunteer. I became fascinated with the whole idea of listening as a way of helping those who were feeling troubled and lost, and my interest eventually led me to a change of career and the beginning of a long journey of learning and personal development.
I have worked as a counsellor and supervisor in a number of different charitable organisations. I have also worked as the Head of Counselling and Coordinator at a counselling agency.
The difference between psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy is a question of the depth and intensity of the work, and I practiced as a psychodynamic counsellor for a number of years before deciding to embark on a further 5 years of training as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. I gained experience through seminars, a year-long infant observation and a 6-month psychiatric placement. This qualifies me to work with clients for up to 3 times a week if required, and to make use of a psychoanalyst's couch for those who find this helpful as an aid to access the more hidden parts of themselves.
For over 20 years I have worked as a counsellor for the NHS offering brief therapy and I have learnt a huge amount from the people that I have come across in this very varied work. I qualified as a provider of counselling to NHS Hertfordshire and undertook further training in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (a type of short term counselling which is recommended for the NHS by NICE for the treatment of depression and anxiety).
The main body of my work however is in private practice where I am able to offer a therapeutic space for anyone who feels depressed, bereft, lost, despairing, unhappy, anxious or worried, and who is willing to take the step of seeking help.
After a University education and a career in teaching I went on to train as a counsellor with The Counselling Foundation gaining a Diploma (1989) and an Advanced Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (1995).
In 2007 I qualified as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist after a further 5 years of training with Westminster Pastoral Foundation (London).
I am an experienced trainer, supervisor, and academic tutor for counselling trainees.
For 20 years I worked as an accredited provider of counselling services to NHS Hertfordshire, working with NHS patients referred for time-limited counselling by their GP. I have trained in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy which is recommended by NICE for the treatment of depression.
I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy;
a professional member of the Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling;
registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist;
and I am a member of the British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervisors.
I have a Diploma in Supervision (2002) and work both with groups and with individual counsellors.
I mainly supervise psychodynamic counsellors and psychotherapists, but I also work with counsellors who have a humanistic or integrative training who feel they would benefit from a psychodynamic perspective. I have supervised counsellors in a number of different agencies, several of which specialized in working with children and young people; and another of which was for women suffering from domestic abuse and for parents who had experienced a termination, miscarriage, still birth or cot death.
My approach as supervisor is to provide the therapist with a space to think about their work, and to explore their feelings and experience of their clients, and where necessary to offer my own thoughts and guidance.
Feedback from clients, students and supervisees:
'You have helped me greatly to move on from a very difficult time...I feel very positive and optimistic about my future and believe you have helped me to achieve that.'
'I have learnt to fully understand my anxiety - where it comes from and how to deal with it. Coming to counselling has changed my life for the better'.
'Coming for counselling is the best thing I've ever done.'
'Of course it is not the end as your voice with all its qualities will stay within me for the years to come....'
'Thank you for your generous encouragement and brilliant inspiration in the past year - very much appreciated and never to be forgotten.'
'Thank you for so freely giving to me over the last seven years. It has been a wonderful journey full of twists and turns, but also joy, happiness and liberation!'
'Just to say thank you so much for being there for me unconditionally while I went through the most challenging four years of my adult life. From suicidal to successful.'
'I don't think I can thank you enough for all that you have given me over the past five years......I will miss you and the sense and sensibility that you bestow.'