All my life I have been someone who noticed the pain of others and wanted to do something to make them feel better. For some people, that might take a practical form, but for me it was always about being there, listening and supporting.
For awhile I worked on a special needs team in a primary school, but for me teaching always ended up taking a back seat to listening to a child who had come to me to talk about the difficulties they were having and how they were feeling that day. I also often found myself having conversations with people who were struggling with their lives and relationships. So I began learning some counselling skills so that I could help more effectively.
Part of my training involved having my own counselling. I worked on my own issues. I hadn’t realized how anxiety had affected my life and my choices and I discovered that practicing mindfulness made a real difference to how well I coped with stressful situations. I began an exciting process of changing the way I thought about things that had happened to me in the past enabling me to leave a lot of regret behind and move forward. I also began to trust myself and my own judgment which helped me make better decisions and I found I liked myself more. The improved relationship with myself had a knock on effect, leading to better relationships with other people. This is how counselling often seems to work – we begin working on one area but as we change, other parts of our life are positively affected.
As I developed my counselling skills in training I came to the realization that I wanted to do this as a profession. Counselling isn’t just a job. I feel very fortunate to do work that makes a difference for others and which feels authentically ‘me’.
I have worked as a counsellor with a counselling service for over 5 years. I have gained experience of working with a wide variety of clients and their issues. A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to do some additional training, and I looked back over my work to see what it was that clients seemed to need the most. What I discovered was that 2 of every 3 clients had issues based in some form of trauma. So I began studying for a masters degree in trauma counselling at the University of Chester. This has enabled me to work in a more effective way with trauma-affected clients.
Now in private practice, I still work with clients on a whole range of issues but have specialist knowledge in helping those who have experienced trauma, particularly abuse of various kinds, as children or adults.
When people, like you, come for counselling and share something of themselves with me, trusting me to be a safe person and to keep confidential what is said, it is an enormous priviledge and something I don’t take lightly.
I will use my knowledge and experience to help you.