I am an empathic and reflective counsellor with a strong commitment for a positive regard of others. My sense of humour and caring attitude have proven to be great assets. I am passionate about mental health and I believe my excellent understanding of psychological theories is complemented by a vast work experience. I enjoy travel, meeting people, and diverse challenges. I have worked and studied in Australia, and travelled independently across the world. I appreciate visual art and being immersed in a process of creating. I see counselling and psychotherapy as a creative collaboration between myself and the client.
I have got an excellent academic background. My undergraduate degree in psychological sciences included elements of neuroscience, human physiology and psychopathology – these were necessary for me to understand the objectives of hard science, and further developed my analytical skills. I continued the path by studying existential psychology and psychotherapy at postgraduate level. Consequently I gained a deep understanding of Existential Philosophy which can inform and enrich any therapeutic encounter. It is also very relevant in terms of the reconstruction and understanding of social structure and how culture and the society influences us as individuals.
While working for the NHS, I trained in Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT), which contains components of CBT as well as psychoanalysis. CAT is an excellent example of how a therapeutic relationship and dialog can be taken outside of the therapy room in a form of letters. This process of expanding therapeutic space can reinforce the healing process, but also transpires the importance of containment (‘keeping in mind’).
To date, I have worked for a wide range of organisations including: Turning Point (Substance Misuse Service), Rethink Mental Illness, NHS and various Universities. I believe my experience of working in a context of higher education institution gave me the chance to focus predominantly on the resources and accomplishments of my clients, and therefore brought about more ‘positive’ components of human experience to the therapy room. Whereas my experience of Art Therapy, while working within the NHS (Secondary Care), helped me to integrate more creative and abstract problem solving skills while trying to comprehend clients’ situations. I also worked as a psychodynamic therapist for a homeless charity. I worked with homeless (or in danger of becoming homeless) clients. I offered long term open-ended therapy. Long term therapy provides an opportunity to develop a good therapeutic relationship with clients who need more in depth, historical exploration of their lives.
Presently I work for a busy NHS IAPT service. Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) is a free talking therapies service for people with common conditions, such as anxiety, depression and stress and is part of the NHS IAPT initiative to involve local qualified mental health providers in the treatment of common psychological disorders that affect all of us at some point in our lives. I also work as a Specialist Mental Health Learning Mentor at various universities, where I support students who require help in overcoming barriers to learning in order to achieve their full potential.
In addition, I am a mother of two children, and I frequently use the knowledge and experience of being a parent in a therapy room.
- MSc in Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy – a joint programme between the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling and Middlesex University
- Foundation Course in Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT), Theory and Practice, Psychological Therapies Training Resource, South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre (Chelsea &Westminster Hospital), Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
- BSc Psychological Sciences, Westminster University, Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours in Psychological Sciences with Upper Second Class Honours (2:1)
- Barnet College, London: Access to Health Professions and Nursing Studies
- Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) (see www.bacpregister.org.uk/check_register)
I am bound by BACP’s Ethical Framework (see www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework)