When I am asked what is distinctive about the way I work with clients, three principles emerge. The most important is I “see” the person, not their problem, not their symptoms (such as anxiety, depression, stress, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or loneliness). I know that behind a battle with any problem, difficulty or loss, is another human being, a unique individual, a fellow traveller.
I am always careful never to confuse the person with the situation they find themselves in. We all have problems, it is how we face them that matters, not how the world judges us. People have always been important to me, and I accept them for who they are. I like to think I can talk with anyone. It is what makes us tick that matters, what makes us sing and what makes us cry, our drives, interests and purposes.
Addressing a mental health issue is as much about learning as it is about healing, it is about getting to know previously unseen parts of ourselves, and learning how to improve communication between our different parts. I help people to help themselves. As the old adage goes:
Give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day;
Teach someone to fish, and they feed themselves for life.
It is a real privilege to work with people facing difficult times, to offer myself as guide to those brave unsung heroes or heroines. I can’t help notice that when people address their darkest thoughts and negative feelings, it is as though a light is switched on inside them. They became much happier and live more fulfilled lives. Mental health and well-being is not just about getting rid of bad things, it is also about opening ourselves up to wondrous things.
I can help clients move from healing to development, and my role transforms from counsellor to coach. The many years I spent in difficult schools, as a teacher and as a leader, helped me to appreciate the relationship between mental well-being and the learning of simple yet powerful skills. On a personal level, I’ve always been committed to experiencing the best education and training available.
As a teacher, I obtained a number of higher University Degrees, including a Doctorate in Education Leadership. As a Registered counsellor and psychotherapist, I trained at the Institute of Psychosynthesis (organisational member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy) in London. I am a Registered Member of BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) and APP (Association of Psychospiritual Practitioners) confirming my role as a personal guide. I keep myself up-to-date professionally and donate my time to a local hospital and mental health charity on a regular basis.