I have worked as a counsellor for over thirty years within a variety of settings. Namely universities, the NHS, the third sector, mental health services, Rampton Hospital, and private practice. Before training as a counsellor, I worked as a telephone engineer for a well-known telecommunications company.
For over thirty years I have been local, national, and international leader for a large third sector charity. In my various roles of leadership, I have provided supervision, evaluation and strategic planning and leadership training.
I am a registered member of the British Association for counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I adhere to the standards of the BACP ethical framework.
My strapline, which I take seriously, is that, "Working with people's pain, develop trust so they can recover and heal." In doing so, I am committed in the ongoing development of people in an age when we are bombarded with how we should be and how we should look. Additionally, we live in a time of quick fixes and results, instant solutions, rapid turnarounds, and profitable outcomes. While such ideas have their place, in my view, human beings are far more complex where instant remedies do not always work.
I am committed to the whole well-being of people and I have been involved in various projects both local and nationally that have focused on improving the mental wellbeing of minority groups.
I am in regular supervision which is a non-negotiable requirement of the BACP which is to ensure that you are receiving a high level of professionalism along receiving the best care possible.
In closing, I have a doctorate in Pastoral Care and a Masters in Pastoral studies, both qualifications include counselling and psychological knowledge which has complemented my other counselling qualifications.
Alongside my current part-time employment at Sheffield Hallam University and my private practice, I am also the club chaplain for Sheffield United Football Club.
My main areas of focus are dealing with loss and grief, depression, anxiety, clergy stress and developing self-love
Dealing with loss and grief is a universal experience. It has been accurately said that, "Grief is universal, but it also personal." I create the space, so individuals can talk about how their loss is affecting them. I provide a number of strategies that helps people through the grieving process, but what the strategies will not do is to take away the often messiness of adjusting to the loss of someone or something that was important to you.
My approach to depression and anxiety is understanding it as your body and mind trying to convey a message to you that there are aspects of our life that requires some attention. While I will always advocate that people should visit their GP for an clinical diagnosis and I recognise that medication has its place, I work with depression and anxiety as a form of communication that needs expressing and being listened to.
Having been involved as a clergy person for over thirty years I am acutely aware of the pressures accompanying ministry in the twenty-first century and the common personality types of clergy people who tend to people who will simply continue pressing on without giving due regard or care to their wellbeing. I work with clergy to take an honest appraisal of how they living their lives.
One of the most underestimated aspects of our humanity is the need for self-love. Not the narcissistic type of love, which is self-centred and self-absorbing, but a love which takes care of who you where you can develop healthy boundaries for your life without feeling guilty.
I understand counselling as having a conversation to help the person express who they are and what appears to be bothering them.
I am psycho-dynamically trained, which means I am interested in a person's life history and what events have occurred in their lives that has shaped them into the person they are today. While I consider one's past to be important it does not mean that it will determine how they live the rest of their lives.
I also use solution focused methods which focuses on people's strength and offers insight as to what they need to do to live a more fulfilling future.
Another method I use, which many people find surprisingly empowering is, journalling or therapeutic writing. There has been significant research, exploring the impact of writing, journaling, creative or therapeutic writing on the lives of people and has demonstrated that it reduces levels of anxiety, blood pressure, aids recovery in operations, reduces anxiety around IBS, enables many to deal with traumatic life events more effectively and other potentially life threatening events.
While not putting a finer point in my description what is evident in counselling is that many our ills are around human relationships with others, family and friends or difficulty in how some people relate to themselves.
Coming to counselling can be the start of a dynamic process where individuals can begin, possibly for the first time in their lives, to work with issues that have bothered them for a long time. Counselling, as seen by others as a weakness, is in fact, a courageous step in acknowledging that something needs your attention.
Sessions are generally 50 minutes on a weekly basis. Couple session are around 90 minutes and groups can be longer given the amount of people in the group and what the issues might be.
The first session is an initial conversation to explore what the issues are and a time to find out what counselling entails, and if indeed, we can work with each other. In this session I will explain how counselling works and it is a chance for you to ask me any questions related to the information I will send you/read on my website before you start your first session.
When many people begin counselling, they may be unsure whether it is for them, or exactly understand what they need. That is okay to feel that way. It is through the process of talking, and being asked relevant questions that the clarity people need will come.
Once a session is established and where possible I tend to keep the same time because it provides much needed stability especially if you are experiencing a difficult and challenging time in your life.
One important fact to note is that the idea of counselling is to enable you to get back into the world a quickly as possible. To ask how long counselling will last is like asking someone how long is a piece of string? What I can say is that counselling does not go on forever and when counselling has worked well, both client and counsellor, will both usually that it is time to consider ending counselling. There are times when this may not happen, but the client is free to end when they wish. Similarly, there are times when someone wants to work on an issue and will end counselling only to resume later to work on other matters.
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