I worked as a nurse for many years throughout the UK in clinical areas such as Intensive Care, Theatres, Anaesthetics and Recovery and Acute and Chronic Pain Management. I was working in Pain Management when chronic back pain forced me to take time out of nursing. During my time out I completed a basic and intermediate counselling course at a local college which I loved.
Getting back into nursing again was great but it no longer “fitted” me like it used to. I made the decision to re-train as a counsellor which has been challenging and extremely rewarding. The nursing adds an extra dimension to me which I feel benefits clients as does my on-going chronic pain. Mostly I am pain-free now and pass on the evidence-based techniques and growing body of knowledge around pain physiology to individuals interested in managing their pain and improving their physical functioning. My varied life-experience is also a resource I draw upon in other areas of my counselling work.
Training and qualifications
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. The counselling and nursing background together are complimentary to each other in terms of knowledge and skills allowing me a uniquely holistic perspective of the individual. I have listed below the qualifications which I feel are relevant to my counselling work:
Professional Doctorate in Counselling & Psychotherapy
EFT Level 1 (Emotional Freedom Technique)
Accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher (Pain management and Stress Courses) and Meditation
MA Clinical Counselling (Distinction)
Certificate in Therapeutic Couples Counselling
The Mind and Body of Safer Trauma Therapy
Post Graduate Diploma in Pain Management
BSC (HONS) Health Studies
Diploma of Higher Education In Nursing (Adult)
The Counselling training course was very robust and rigorous, based at the University of Chester. We were regularly assessed on our counselling work (from tapes with real clients) during the three year course as well as being supervised clinically and professionally. During my training I undertook my own personal therapy above and beyond the university requirement. This was to be better able to support my clients and to understand myself better. It has given me insight into how it may be your you, the client, to embark on this unknown journey.
As a Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP 681482) I follow their ethical code for personal and professional practice. Being on the BACP Register (a voluntary database of counsellors) means that I follow extra assurances to maintaining high quality professional practice, please see the section below on Continuing Professional Development.
What happens in the first session?
The first session, like all sessions, usually lasts 50 minutes and is an opportunity for us to meet and to decide if we could work together. There is no obligation for you to continue to work with me! We can discuss a bit more about what counselling is and how it works as well as talk through your concern/s. I will provide you with a written “contract” which states housekeeping type items such as how to contact me as well as things about Confidentiality (see below) and my Continuing Professional Development.
Counselling provides a safe, secure and (mostly) confidential environment for you to talk about your concerns in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. There are limits to the confidentiality that I or any counsellor can offer some of which are laid down here and outlined in the BACP guidelines on confidentiality:
- Money laundering
- Drug trafficking
- Where there is risk of harm to yourself or others others (which includes issues related to child protection)
- Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005)
- If I am subpoenaed or summoned as a witness in a Court of Law
I would initially speak to you about my concerns and then may speak to the relevant parties with (hopefully) your consent.
Continuing Professional Development
As a Registered MBACP, I have a requirement from my governing body to keep myself professionally up to date, which is audited yearly by the BACP. To maintain a high quality of therapeutic work I also undergo regular Clinical Supervision where I talk about my client work and what I could improve upon. My supervisor is bound by the same ethical and professional code as me and she/he is also a BACP member, so it is all confidential. Any client work I talk about in supervision is always anonymous and non-identifiable- it is about me rather than your concerns.
I also have personal therapy to learn more about myself so that I can be a better counsellor by being more fully present with you.