My background, my motivation, and my work as a therapist with adults, children, and young people.
Working for seven years in primary education I came to understand that for some children displaying behaviours that made life in the classroom difficult for them and those around them was often a way of trying to communicate underlying distress.
My role evolved over the years from teaching support to special needs support for children with additional learning needs, including Asperger Syndrome, and Down Syndrome. This experience informs the way that I work in the therapy with neurodivergent clients, who may or may not have been diagnosed for example with ADHD and/or Autism, and the challenges this brings in navigating the world, often impacting mental wellbeing.
As an emotional literacy support assistant I used a range of strategies to support childrens emotional and social needs often caused by adverse childhood experiences (more about ACE's), including loss, separation, adoption, low self-esteem, anxiety, and attachment. This led to me undertaking a foundation course in Counselling Skills for Working with Children (CPCAB). I also gained experience volunteering for Place2Be as a Child Counsellor.
Gaining a deeper understanding of behaviours, I realised that it's not so different for us as adults.
Coping with stress, work/life challenges, grief, loss, unresolved trauma, or abuse can all affect the way we behave and our outlook on life, causing irritability, hostility, relationship breakdowns (both personal and professional), and isolation and loneliness, often symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Wanting to ensure that I had the skills and knowledge to safely and ethically support people's mental health across the life span, I gave up work to attend university, training for three years to become a qualified counsellor and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I have been privileged to work with clients of all ages from different walks of life, with varying life experiences, challenges, and levels of distress.
As well as being a fully qualified private practitioner I also undertake sessional counselling for charities:
With the homelessness charity Llamau, I work with women and young people recovering from trauma, relationship breakdowns, domestic abuse, risky behaviours, low self-worth, anxiety, and depression.
Previously as an associate counsellor on placement at Cardiff University I worked to support students with academic stress, confidence, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
Due to COVID-19 like many others, counselling moved online. I received training to make sure I could work ethically both online and over the telephone, providing a safe space for clients to sit with acceptance and work towards their preferred future, finding ways to overcome past, present, and future challenges.
Registered Member MBACP,
Counselling professional /psychotherapist.
I have a special interest in working therapeutically with people with learning disabilities and their families, along with an interest into research of 'specific therapies' for 'specific disabilities'
This article first appeared in the June 2021 issue of BACP Children, Young People & Families, published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/bacp-children-young-people-and-families-journal/ BACP 2021©
Qualifications and Accreditation
Qualified Pluralistic Counsellor (Level 6)
First Class Honours BA (Hons) Counselling & Therapeutic Practice, University of South Wales.
Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
BACP Competencies for Telephone and e-counselling with Serenity Counselling.
CPCAB Certificate in Counselling skills for working with children.