‘I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me’ – Terence, Roman playwright
I began training at Sussex University to be a psychotherapeutic counsellor in 2001. Prior to that I worked for a decade and a half in journalism and Television, writing for and putting together magazines and programmes involving sport, music and comedy. Exciting though that all was, I felt an increasing sense of dissatisfaction and a growing need to ‘go deeper’, hence the retraining as a counsellor, and later as a supervisor of counsellors. I’m now Senior Accredited by my governing body, the BACP, whose ethical guidelines I adhere to. To date, I’ve completed over 10 000 hours of client work, covering age groups from young adults to people in their 70s, presenting with issues ranging from childhood trauma, to ADHD, anxiety and depression.
My original training model was psychodynamic therapy, which takes into account the client’s past and how it keeps impacting now despite their adult self’s best, logical intentions, though I’ve also trained in CBT, NLP, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, and Lifespan Integration.
I regularly attend further training workshops, most recently in the neuroscience area of polyvagal theory, and I’m also a qualified Personal Trainer. I don’t take a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to working with clients: whatever specifically suits the client who’s sitting before me, is the right approach. As Bruce Lee once said, ‘Take what’s valuable, discard what’s not’.
The Therapeutic Relationship
One thing that’s always central, though, is the importance of the therapeutic relationship between myself and the client. Martin Buber, a German philosopher, described two forms of relationship: ‘I-it’ and ‘I-thou’. With ‘I-it’, there’s a distance, as if one person is delivering a statement or a demand whilst the other waits for their turn to do the same.
Social media and much modern day interaction, where we present ourselves ‘in the best possible light’ is like this. The ‘I-thou’ relationship, though, involves a genuine curiosity and interest, an authentic listening, reflecting and responding. It’s how we truly meet, and it’s how I work.
How I Work
I work short and long term, and am available for Skype sessions in addition to working in person.