What attracted you to become a therapist?
It was something I really wanted to do for such a long time; however the time never seemed to be right. Life often throws curve balls at you as if fate gives you a little nudge together with life difficulties that affect everyone at some point. I really wanted to help and support people who had also experienced how difficult it can be the lose someone to a cancer diagnosis and all the pitfalls that experience brings for everyone in the family unit not just the person affected by cancer. Working with Macmillan Cancer Support I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time that supported me through my learning journey.
Where did you train?
I trained in South Yorkshire, Dearne Valley College and Doncaster University Centre together with Macmillan Cancer Support as a Mindfulness Compassion Facilitator, Reiki Master trained in South Yorkshire with over 15 years’ experience in working in this particular way.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practice?
I trained as a person-centred counsellor originally but I work very intuitively and in an integrated way as a mindfulness practitioner/Reiki master/person-centred counsellor.
The client is always at the centre of everything we undertake together, they set the agenda; this is their time to talk about issues that are concerning them. We work together utilising all therapies if they wish to help and support them to find that place where they can be the best possible version of themselves.
Practicing and delivery these particular types of compassion therapies it’s a way of empowering and supporting people to be able to move forward in their lives at their own pace but in a safe caring environment.
It’s a real privilege to work with people in this way, and not many counsellors work in this way I find but the result are truly amazing and very humbling to witness the changes in people to help and support them on their journey.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I often work with people experiencing loss and grief, either from recent bereavement or often something that happened some time ago. Stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and self-worth we all seem to be affected in some way in our journey through life. Working with young adults’ right through to the end stages of life and terminal illness every stage of our human existence.
Working with emotional and physical pain I help to support these people who often experience high levels of anxiety, depression and those who feel ill at ease with themselves and their relationships. Exploring with them these issues together with giving them the experiences of mindful compassion tools to help and support them along their journey to wellness and emotional balance.
Sometimes people come across my practice through courses I have run or they come to see me when they are at a point in their life when they feel stuck, their patterns of behaviour no longer work for them. This can be related to work, family or thoughts about their purpose or place in the world; they just feel lost and alone.
What do you like about being a therapist?
There are so many reason as to why I love being a therapist and to list them all would be too much for this place however what really resonates with me most is that - this way of being in the world really does make a difference and it’s a real privilege to support people in this way and that’s why I love being a therapist. I always say I have found what I am meant to be in life a *counsellor* now that I have grown up!! I have found what I am meant to do for the rest of my time on earth.
What is less pleasant?
Seeing the pain that often people are carrying around with them be that physical or emotional pain, together with the financial constraints that people often have in accessing therapy due to either financial or cultural barriers that sometimes is difficult and unpleasant.
How long you've been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been with welldoing.org now for just over eight months they are a great community, a colleague told me about it. I enjoy how the site feels like a shared space for both client and therapist. It supports clients to find the right therapist and provides articles by other therapists to assist colleagues great place, great site.
I haven’t as yet started using the booking system as yet but as my practice develops it’s my intention to do so.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I have suggested apps to help with mindfulness practices, together with downloads of meditations from my own website, a wide range of publications/books to assist people with their own development around meditation and personal development.
What you do for your own mental health?
I teach mindful compassion meditation courses that help my students but also I get benefit from these too, I try to do a little exercise with my two Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Of course my friends network together with my mindful compassion meditation practice and Reiki treatments. I also have a peer supervisor, which is required by all my regulatory bodies.
You are a therapist in South Yorkshire, what can you tell us about working in this area?
I work in the S35/S66 post code areas which covers Sheffield and the Rotherham area, but I do travel around South Yorkshire and beyond delivering and facilitation of mindful compassion courses. I love travelling around these geographical areas that I work meeting and working with people from such varied backgrounds and areas, all walks of life really, such a diverse area to work to cover.
What's your consultation room like?
My consultation room is a warm, welcoming, calm space, somewhere my clients feel able to feel safe and comfortable - a healing place.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Therapy I find is so much more than just talking, it is about changing the very core of our concerns and worries that in turn can help reduce these and improve the quality of a person’s human experience.
I truly feel it is possible to make sense of and overcome the most difficult life events by managing memories and emotions in a different way with kindness and understanding for ourselves. Often people say that they never put themselves first and that it’s selfish to do so, I try to support people to understanding that caring for themselves with kindness understanding and empathy is one of the most empowering, nurturing and life changing practices they can undertake.
To be that change in the world and notice how it changes their human experiences and that of those around them.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That life is a journey with very many experiences both good and bad; these do help shape us however we have within us all the power and ability to really make changes for the better, if we have the courage and support from others around us.
I am just as vulnerable to mental health issues as the next person but being kind compassionate and caring to oneself especially when I feel I am suffering, I take care of myself when I need to do so. Mental health affects every human being on this planet. We all need to take care of ourselves.