Counselling Service staff
I started my professional journey supporting people with acute mental health difficulties as a befriender/ advocate mainly in Westminster borough, subsequently focused my work on suicide support and prevention in the Maytree Suicide Respite Centre in north London and also worked in psychotherapeutic communities around London.
I have trained in the Person-Centred model of Counselling and Psychotherapy but I also believe in the integration of different theoretical ideas with an ultimate focus on the relationship with the Other. I believe that the client and the relationship are the active ingredients of change in psychotherapy and I have always strived to promote a safe non-judgmental space for them to experience that. From a phenomenological perspective, I would try to relate with them without any pre-conceptions and prejudice whilst offering the person-centred conditions that would enable a more fluid genuine experience of their feelings and thoughts in the here and now. I am an accredited graduate member of BACP and registered with UKCP.
I started my professional life in Waltham Forest and Redbridge boroughs, a senior youth worker and a foster carer, inspiring young people to fulfil their potential. I did this for six years and in 1992, I made the decision to train and work as a counsellor in education settings: colleges, universities and supervising in schools. I am a member of the BACP (British Association For Counselling & Psychotherapy) in the final stages of accreditation.
I originally studied Humanistic Person Centred Counselling and over the years have developed a more Integrative and Holistic approach to my therapeutic work. I have trained in Psychodynamic theories, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Trauma Therapy, NLP, EFT, Anatomy & Physiology, Remedial and Medical Massage. I have also travelled across Europe and Canada to train in performance psychology using EEG Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, Computerised Stress Tests and Low Level Laser Therapy for addictions and pain management. In my work with clients, I aim to explore thoughts, feelings and beliefs from a relational perspective. This may clarify insights into physical, emotional or spiritual needs and help resolve past trauma, discomfort or inner-conflict.
In addition, I work very closely with the school staff in the areas of personal development, retention, student engagement and employability. My aim is to identify the need for personal development workshops that may help to enhance the student experience at London Met. I also facilitate interactive programmes such as: motivation, confidence building, presentation skills and maximizing your competitive edge.
I completed my training as a Counselling Psychologist in the United States and since 2016 I have been living and working in the UK. I am originally from Iceland and so far I have had the chance to work with people in a wide range of circumstances in a total of five cities and in many different settings, including three universities overseas. I am registered with the HCPC as a practitioner psychologist and I am a chartered member of the British Psychological Society.
Prior to joining London Metropolitan University I worked for the NHS as a therapist at a community mental health centre in Haringey, where I assisted people in overcoming psychological difficulties and traumatic experiences. I also provided trauma focused therapy with the Women and Girls Network in west London to female survivors of gender based violence. I am very interested in working with survivors of trauma, abuse, or other distressing life experiences and I believe in providing systemic support to people who experience oppression of any kind.
In my work with students, I seek to understand their background and context, identify their priorities for our time together, make space for working through troubling experiences they may have had, and build on their unique strengths and resources. In our sessions, I do my best to create a safe and supportive atmosphere where students can share their concerns at their own pace and explore ways to move forward.
In 2000, while running an Employment & Training project for MIND in Haringey, I began my training as an Integrative Counsellor combining psychodynamic and humanistic approaches. From MIND I went on to work as an advocate and counsellor with clients who had experienced abuse by health and care professionals. As a counsellor, I then moved into the field of disability and traumatic sight-loss with RNIB. Overall, I have worked a great deal with issues of power, identity, difference, diversity and marginalisation. My role has often involved helping clients to explore how they can move towards recovery and rediscovering a sense of meaning in their lives. I spent three years as a student counsellor at City Lit, working with students facing a variety of challenges and wishing to find ways to develop their potential and live more fulfilling lives.
My initial degree was in Comparative Religion and I have a longstanding interest in the beliefs and outlooks of different communities and faiths. From this, I hope I bring a respectful way of working with issues of culture, and also an interest in meditational practices, which I find can be a helpful component in counselling, pain/stress management and, more broadly, in personal development (no faith required!).