Counselling Service staff
I began my counselling journey as a befriender for people in suicidal crisis. My background in writing, publishing and improvisational arts eventually led to what seemed a natural progression and I began training as an integrative arts psychotherapist. I have found that talking combined with optional creative practices can help bring to light previously unseen perspectives, as well as helping to express and understand emotions and experiences that are harder to put into words, or may feel overwhelming. I am informed by a relational integrative approach, working collaboratively with individuals and groups to find practises that best suit their unique needs and situation.
I have long been passionate about helping people start to heal from the impact of trauma and violence, and also creating wider conversation and cultural change to increase awareness and support around the needs of victims/survivors of sexual violence. As part of the Not the Only One project, I have offered training and support to university staff and students around issues faced by those who experienced sexualised violence, including child sexual abuse, and facilitated survivor consent and wellbeing workshops as well as ongoing support groups. I was also involved in organizing the Clear Lines Festival in 2015, the first four day event of its kind solely focused on issues of sexual violence and consent.
I have worked with adults and young people in a range of settings, including with women affected by criminal justice and mental health systems, and managing a counselling service for young people in a secondary school. I continue to develop my understanding of ways to safely and creatively help develop resilience and self-compassion through ongoing trainings in trauma-informed practices, focusing, nonviolent communication, and various therapeutic and modalities.
As well as having been a counsellor in two universities, I have also worked therapeutically in colleges and schools. During and since my counselling degree, I have found myself being drawn to working in both education and in community-based services in London, such as a Womens Project for refugees and migrants in Deptford, a charity in Richmond offering residential care to teenagers with substance abuse, and a community centre for young families in Lewisham. I am a Registered Member of the BACP.
Being a counsellor is a career change for me, having worked as an employment lawyer in a previous life. It was a decision that has at times felt risky but ultimately, has always felt right. It has given me a personal appreciation for our ability to shape our own journeys, adapt to different worlds, and that in one way or another, we are always in transition and learning something new. My work at the university offers me balance as I run my private practice alongside it. I think it is fair to say that I enjoy variety!
In my style of working, I try to be gentle and respectful. I also try to be pragmatic and creative in integrating different approaches and my new learning along the way. I am keen to keep up to date with current research, such as neuroscience, which helps to inform my work, particularly with trauma and relationship issues. I strive to be open to the unique experiences and world views that all my clients bring, and to meet them in that place. I work with my clients to connect with their own power to cope through life challenges and to fulfil their potential, at whatever stage they are at.
To understand "self" is empowering, and moving towards such an understanding can allow individuals to build new foundations for personal growth and wellbeing to fulfil their full potential. My aim is to enable and support this process. I am a registered MBACP Integrative Therapeutic Counsellor drawing on a variety of approaches to give clients the opportunity to explore in a safe environment any concerns that they may be facing in the present, working to create new perspectives on current situations.
My past professional working experience as a counsellor, youth worker, group facilitator, lead tutor and teacher has given me a wide range of experience to work with individuals and groups in a holistic manner. I have developed creative ways of working with a variety of clients with complex needs from their individual starting points. life may bring new unexpected challenges and emotions; it is important to be in touch with “self” to fulfil your potential. Counselling is a service that can support this journey of self-care.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation” Audre Lorde