I have considerable experience of working with a broad range of clients, issues and conditions.
Aside from my private practice, I worked voluntarily for a large and much respected charitable counselling service for several years. This provided invaluable experience as I worked in-depth for up to two years with each individual, as well as carrying out assessments for potential new clients. Often, people were referred by GPs or other health professionals and had complex issues and needs.
I completed a lengthy period as a director on the management committee in the above charity, giving me a useful insight into other mental health related services and organisations across Leicestershire that clients might also have contact with.
Additionally, I have worked as a volunteer counsellor for an organisation dedicated to supporting women and girls aged 14 or over. Many who sought help there had suffered trauma, abuse, domestic violence and/or were trying to turn their lives around as ex-offenders.
More recently, I was a co-director for several years of a not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to providing therapeutic arts-based workshops. A key aim was to help bring communities together, particularly focusing on music activities for children and parents in deprived areas, as well as theatre workshops for male prisoners. My roles included overseeing safeguarding and data protection, fundraising and mental health training,
I am a long-time member of MIND, the national mental health charity, and occasionally do some work for them such as reviewing their advice booklets.
My awareness of talking therapies arose through personal experience of caring for someone with mental health problems. This often involved contact with NHS services, through which I came to realise the extent of the psychological suffering that is endured by so many people. I felt drawn towards making a difference in some way.
Prior to becoming a counsellor, I had a successful career in the commercial sector and also worked for several years in the NHS. My various roles have included training and mentoring. I therefore understand the demands and stresses of the workplace and how this might impact on a client’s well-being. I have also enjoyed working in several other voluntary roles, having been a charity fundraiser, school governor, classroom helper and parish councillor.