Before coming to counselling, I worked as a Software Engineer. Although the job gave me an analytical, thorough approach to problem-solving, I noticed that some teams had good rapport and produced good results, while others were divided by in-fighting and did not perform so well. I wanted to know why. In my own time, I began research into the psychology of interpersonal relationships and I found myself increasingly motivated to understand interactions between people more generally speaking. In particular, I wanted to find an answer to the question of why some people seem to be more or less content and able to form friendships and relationships easily, while others struggle. This, it seemed to me, was a much greater question than any I could hope to tackle in my job as a software engineer. I knew I needed to expand my horizons and I began reading literature on philosophy, counselling and self-help. What began as curiosity blossomed into a passion for helping myself and others live contented, productive and fulfilled lives.
From software engineering, I moved into the field of counselling and in 2006 I started working with Off-The-Record, a Portsmouth-based charity which offers counselling and help to young people aged 11-25. Here I saw poverty and deprivation at its worst and as part of the team at Off The Record, I actively contributed to the significant positive effect the service has in the lives of disadavantaged young people, many of whom have no family to turn to for help. I felt part of team that worked well because we were close-knit, friendly and mutually supportive. We helped each other as much as the young people who came to us.
While at Off The Record, I began formal training in psychotherapy and in 2010 I obtained a Diploma with Distinction in Humanistic Counselling. In 2013 I obtained a 1st Class Honours degree in Humanistic Counselling from the highly regarded Department of Psychology and Counselling at the University of Chichester. Since then I have gained a certificate in couples counselling, a certificate in supervision and I gained accredited status with the British Association For Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). I am currently enrolled on a supervision diploma course.
My extensive experience in the technical (abstract, analytical) and therapeutic (focusing on wellbeing) spheres of work gives me a unique way of working with you in therapy, supervision or training. My philosophy of therapy, training and supervision is underpinned by the following Humanistic beliefs:
- I believe all people have inherent worth and deserve respect.
- I believe people have an innate tendency towards growth change and realising their potential.
- I believe people are naturally creative and unique.
- I consider all aspects of human experience have potential to be a resource.
- I aim to create an environment which facilitates hope, possibility, autonomy, resilience and personal/professional transformation.
- I seek a way of being that ensures relational depth in the 'here and now'.
- I embrace the diverse range of Humanistic therapeutic approaches that are based on these philosophies.
As an accredited member of the BACP, I subscribe to the BACP’s Ethical Framework for the counselling professions, which you can read here: https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/.