About Kim at Ebb & Flow

It is important that you feel confident that you can work with your chosen mental health and well-being professional. Perhaps it feels reassuring to know that I too have experienced many of the same life experiences as you, or to know that I live with persistent pain. Like you, I am more than these experiences.


How and why I became interested in pain management.

Working predominantly in Intensive Care and Anaesthetics and Recovery I had a very successful nursing career. I loved the mix of caring for patients, liaising with their families and other agencies.

Nursing was a fantastic opportunity to use my hands and brain and I loved learning and passing on knowledge. Nursing introduced me to teaching both student and qualified nurses within the NHS whilst undertaking patient care, on during NHS trust study days and at a university. My love of teaching (and learning) was able to be further utilised when I moved into pain management as a clinical nurse specialist. My interest in pain management grew from my 2 year experience of renal (kidney) pain when pregnant with, and following the premature birth of my son.

A few years later, in 2007, whilst working in a different NHS trust, I was setting up an interventional pain management service (in theatre). It was here that my low back pain began. Oh, the irony! This was a very fearful time as I had various investigations to try to find a diagnosis for my pain. I became very socially isolated and was unable to work as the pain was so intense. At its worst, pain prevented me from using a knife and fork, holding a cup of tea, cuddling my very young son and I could only walk 50m.

I was diagnosed with ‘non-specific lower back pain‘, which is back pain without a specific cause like a ‘slipped disc’.

I began observing my mind and body during this time. I noticed and felt how my mood influenced my pain levels and thinking patterns and stress, and also became aware of how my pain levels influenced my mood. When I was having moments of joy my pain and stress decreased, whereas when I was very sad, my pain and stress increased. Without knowing it, I was practising mindful awareness.

I knew from my professional experience within chronic pain clinics that pain medications were often unhelpful, ineffective and had unpleasant side-effects and so when my pain became more chronic and persistent, I knew that self- anagement would be key to my recovery.

‘Operation Kim’ began which included increasing my daily activity, exercise and building a social network (because we moved house during this time too!). Over time, I was able to reduce my antidepressant and pain medication use and came off them completely. I believe that “knowledge is power” and so I began to read the latest neuroscience of pain which showed me that there was hope.

My life could look and feel differently even in the continuing presence of pain, if I were to harness the latest research findings. So, like any good scientist, I began to experiment with pacing activity and very slowly introducing new activities/movements. My initial aims were simple: to be able to sleep in a different bed (to be able to go on holiday or have weekends away), and to wear high heels and go dancing!


Within the first year of ‘Operation Kim’ I was going to a gym and using weights! I later joined a meditation group and established a regular meditation practice. I then thought that counselling would help me to adjust to a life with persisting pain. Sadly, however, I found it counselling unhelpful because the therapist had outdated notions of managing back pain (corsets and bedrest). This prompted me to go to a local college and take some courses in counselling because (at that time) I believed I would never be able to get back into nursing. I believed that, as a counsellor, I would be in a great position to be able to help others like myself, with persisting pain or continuing health conditions, who were wanting to better manage their condition and were unable to access NHS pain management services and programs.

Although I did get back into nursing, it sadly no longer ‘fitted’ me like it once had, and I took the leap to do further counselling training at the University of Chester.

Mostly, I now have minimal pain or am pain-free, unless there is a global pandemic or I am writing up my doctoral thesis! However, I have the knowledge and personal resources to manage these flare-ups. I offer up to you not just my personal experience but my professional knowledge and experience, and the latest pain science research, to guide and inform your pain management counselling, to help you self-manage your pain or condition and to improve your range of movement and mobility.

Aside from persistent pain, I have a varied life experience including IVF, many miscarriages, homelessness and bankruptcy not to mention experiencing anxiety, panic, suicidal thoughts and depression. But I also have lots of fun! I teach mindfulness and meditation, belly dance and yoga. These activities and practices have been so helpful in helping me grow my world and rebuild my life.

Living and working on the border between England and North Wales, just outside Wrexham, I am able to hone my navigational skills walking hills, climbing mountains and scrambling my way to some peaks in this beautiful part of the UK.

My personal and professional experiences, skills, knowledge and qualifications are totally unique to me which means I am able to offer you a suit of holistic services that are totally unique and bespoke for you.