Background

My route to becoming a counsellor has seemed scenic at times and more direct at others, but then I am telling the story here with the blessing of hindsight.

I studied Maths at Cambridge and as a student became a member and then a facilitator of a self help group, and helped on a volunteer helpline and went on to be a welfare officer of the Student Union. In the holidays I began working as a care assistant for people with learning difficulties where I returned to work after graduating and went on to work as an assistant in residential care and outreach services for folk with learning difficulties. I went on to train as a Mental Health Nurse in 1998 which was the beginning of my admitting that my heart, rather than my head, was going to have more say in my career.

I came across the the Nottingham Buddhist Centre in 1998 also and by 2000 had decided to live and work communally with other Buddhists, which I did for the next 11 years. I was Ordained as a lay Practitioner in 2005 and the last 14 years have given me the chance to experiment with, and gain experience in, deepening mindfulness and kindness in action, with the support and challenge of others committed to pursuing the same methods and values. One of the main interests for me has been meeting in teams, juggling the need to be warmly connected and get the job done. Over this time I have led and facilitated teams who were working together, living together and studying together.

The most satisfying period was while I worked as a trainer of volunteers for an international charity, the Karuna trust from 2007 to 2010, during this time I led ten teams of volunteers on six week residential trainings bringing together all of my experience and skills in one role. My aims were for the volunteers to be more authentic and deepen their way of learning and communicating; and for them to be honest about what was difficult for them and to learn to ask for the support they needed. I believe that to be effective one needs to find out:
"How do I take good enough care of myself?"
"What is my way of doing this task?"
& "How do I dig deeper into my own values so that I remember what is important to me when times are tough?"

I heard about ReVision's experiential counselling and psychotherapy training in 2007 through a friend, and was immediately taken with their emphasis on experience first and then theory. Their training uses images, story and ritual as well as group work and residential training. All this is grounded in very down to earth tried and tested methods and theories of the wider profession. This way has become an equally strong and supportive leg with which to walk my path to a fuller and more meaningful life.

My other interests include: Five Rhythms Dancing, Qi Gong, Storytelling, and I teach meditation at the North London Buddhist Centre.


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