I originally trained as a Teacher of English, and I have a Masters in Linguistics. I have long experience as a language teacher and educator, in which my interest was always in helping people to find the words to say what they really wanted to and the confidence to say it.
I have practised as a counsellor since 2004, and have been an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy since March 2007.
I have lived in Bristol since 1994, and worked for 14 years for the University of Bristol before I started working full-time as a counsellor.
I worked as a Student Counsellor in Bath between 2011 and 2014.
I am trained in psychodynamic counselling, which is the core of my approach.
What this means for me is that when we have experienced difficult, painful or traumatic events in the past, we very commonly find ourselves repeating them, often without noticing that this is a repeating pattern.
Also when we experience difficult events in the present, the way we make sense of them often comes from how we made sense of parallel experiences in the past. This often goes right back into childhood, at a time when we had only very limited means of making sense of what was going on. In adulthood we can find ourselves falling back on those childhood ways of understanding.
I have a strong interest in the ideas of the French psychoanalyst and thinker Jacques Lacan, because of the importance he places on language, which ties with my former career as a language teacher.
Lacanians pay a lot of attention to the words we use and believe that they can tell us things about our thinking that we may not realise until we notice our own words and realise what we are saying. Lacan also gives a lot of importance to the role of the father, which I feel is sometimes neglected in counselling and psychotherapy.
It is my aim within the next few years to carry out a full Lacanian psychoanalytic training. I am a member of a Lacan reading group here in Bristol.