I became interested in counselling in the 1980s, when I was part of a small group of women who set up a Rape Crisis helpline. I didn’t know it then but working on a helpline was an excellent grounding in counselling skills, and working with women who had been through the trauma of rape or sexual abuse. This led me to train as a counsellor, first through a Diploma in Education (Human Relations in Professional Settings (qualified 1991 Nottingham University), and then a Diploma in Psychotherapy (qualified 1994 Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute). I have continued to be involved in Rape Crisis/ sexual abuse work, supervising volunteer counsellors in their work. I completed a 2-year supervision training in 1995 (Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute).
I have worked as a counsellor, therapist and supervisor since the early 1990s, both in private practice and within the voluntary sector. In 1996, I took up the post of Manager of a new counselling service run by and for disabled people and, although this was time limited, I have continued to work with, or supervise the work of counsellors working with disabled people. I believe strongly in the rights of everyone to receive counselling, where they want this and it is suitable for them, and recognise that many disabled people can still struggle to get counselling today, often due to poor access, or lack of understanding. Disabled people may want counselling related to their illness/ “condition” but, equally they may want counselling for all the same reasons many others do. A student once said to me, whilst on placement at the counselling service for disabled people; “Disabled people have all the same problems in life as anyone else – and then some more.” He was referring to the problems disabled people face due to poor access, lack of understanding, ignorance.
I am now in my 60s and bring to my work a wealth of professional as well as personal experience. I have personal experience of disability, ‘caring’ for parents and relatives as they age, stroke and dementia in family members, as well as bereavement. These inform the work I do though I recognise not everyone’s experiences are the same as mine. I have worked with many different people in a variety of settings; private practice, voluntary and community sector. Aside from the working with women and men who have been raped or sexually abused, and disabled people, I have worked with people facing problems in their relationships, in parenting, people experiencing anxiety and depression, and many more issues.
Contact me if you would like to enquire about online counselling or online supervision.