Some facts about me:
I am a born and bred Geordie.
My absolute favourite colour is blue!
I am a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
I enjoy playing tenor horn (albeit it badly!).
If you want to know what the letters after my name mean, click here.
How I became a Counsellor
I have always had a fascination for understanding people. From being at school, I was someone that people sought out for support or a listening ear.
As a teenager, I wanted to be a psychologist or a GP who specialised in mental health. I then had the opportunity to work assisting a dentist over school holidays. My eyes were opened as I realised that I had completely misunderstood what dentistry was really about (so much more than drilling, filling and scraping). I found it exciting! So… I went to university and became a dentist.
I worked for a couple of years as a dentist. I thrived on working with patients who were scared of the dentist, had low self-esteem or struggled with mental health issues. But, one day, it dawned on me… I was terrified of the dentist! Not only was I really scared of the dentist and having treatment myself, but I realised that this had always been the case! I dreaded simple procedures! Yet, here I was, being a dentist!
The revelation that I was dentally anxious made me re-think. I gave up dentistry and went back to university where I gained my psychology qualifications. Once again, these courses reinforced my interest in stress, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety as well as low self-esteem and how people become the people they are. From there, over the next four years, I trained as a counsellor.
Counselling and me
I love counselling. A client once asked me if I, “… ever got bored listening to other people’s troubles?” I can honestly say no. Every client is different. Every client brings their own perspective on life. Every client brings their own experiences. Every client brings their own beliefs. Every client brings their own issues. With such infinite diversity, how could I possibly get bored?
Not only do I meet people who are unique, but I also learn more about myself. I learn about different ways of seeing life. I have likened my philosophy and approach to counselling to working on a patchwork quilt. A variety of stitches, needles and threads are needed to combine different types of fabrics (some pretty, some ugly) to make a valuable item. Like an enthusiastic quilter who enjoys finding about new techniques, I love to learn more about people and how to help them understand themselves.
My belief is that everyone has value. I also believe that everybody needs help sometimes and sometimes it is helpful for that help and support to come from outside their immediate situation. It is a real privilege to do this work.