My Background

How I became a therapist

Once upon a time, I fell in love with philosophy. I was fascinated by ideas: the nature of reality, how we know things (or don’t), and what it all means. I was so inspired that I went on to study philosophy as a postgraduate with the intention of becoming a professor. I imagined that as a philosophy professor, I would teach my students how to think critically about themselves and the world. However, as I progressed down that path, I discovered that the academic life was not for me. I wanted to be actively involved in creating change, not encouraging people to think about it.

My decision to leave philosophy behind coincided with both the economic downturn and not knowing what I wanted to do next, meaning that for many years, I did an enormous variety of jobs. To name a few, I’ve worked: in retail, hospitalities (pubs, cafes, restaurants), schools, at summer camp and music festivals, in sales and marketing, and in the charitable sector for various environmental causes such as conservation, community supported agriculture, and sustainable energy. This phase of my life also included some unexpected traumatic events and major life changes which led me to seek therapy. In my therapy, I began to heal from the traumatic events as well as address some adverse childhood experiences. My experiences were absolutely life-changing, and it was at this time that I decided to become a therapist myself.

I trained at the Tariki Trust Psychotherapy Programme, led by Caroline Brazier. The Tariki programme offered a unique perspective on therapy as it combines Buddhist Psychology with traditional Western psychotherapeutic approaches. The Buddhist model holds that the self is a non-fixed, ever-changing entity. Often what is painful, and what leads to much suffering, is the clinging onto an identity, or the self, in unhelpful ways. Being firmly attached to ideas such as: ‘this is me’, or ‘I like this and not that’, lead to rigidity that prevents us from truly engaging in the world. In essence, the self can function as the ultimate defence mechanism as it cuts us off from newness and possibility, as we cling to what’s comfortable and familiar. Sometimes the Buddhist approach is called the ‘Other-Centred’, as it maintains that when we experience an authentic encounter with the Other, something that is non-self, then we grow. Other Buddhist teachings influence this model too such as: impermanence, attachment, craving, and the Skanda Cycle. For more information, see link to Caroline’s book.

While training to become a therapist, I worked in other areas of the compassionate industry. Initially I worked in care, both in the community and in residential care homes, supporting people with complex learning and mental needs. From care, I moved into a role as an advocate, supporting vulnerable adults with cognitive impairments (people who have learning disabilities, brain injuries, or have suffered a stroke) to have their voices heard. I view these work experiences as just as valuable as my formal therapy training. Working in care and in advocacy gave me ample practice of deep listening and being present for someone else, as well as witnessing the vast differences in life experience, depending on a person’s situation. This work affirmed my beliefs in social justice and inclusivity.

As regards to my therapy experience, I did my student placement at a family therapy practice, where I worked with young parents and the children of young parents, and continued working with this agency even after qualifying. Unfortunately, this service stopped operating during the pandemic, prompting me to begin my private practice. Since then I have worked in frontline mental health service and managed two counselling agencies. More recently and alongside private practice, I have started working with a rape crisis centre supporting victims of sexual violence. Keen to continue learning, I’m in the process of earning a diploma in Relational Supervision.

As I look back I recall what motivated me to become a philosophy professor in the first place: to teach people to think critically about themselves and the world. In some ways, I feel as though I’ve come full circle. Well, sort of. Thinking is only part of the picture. If philosophy involves the head, then psychotherapy involves the head and the heart. I offer you a combination of both head and heart in our work together. I look forward to hearing what else might be in it for you. Please click here if you'd like to arrange for a free chat.

How do I work?

Practical information for therapy clients and supervisees

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Areas of specialisation

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My background

How I came to be a therapist

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With Severn Talking Therapy:
Diploma in Relational Supervision (in progress)

With the Tariki Psychotherapy Training Programme:
Diploma in Psychotherapy (2022)
Diploma in Counselling (2019)
Foundation Certificate (2014)

University education

Masters of Letters (Mlitt) Philosophy (2007)
BA (Hons) English Literature and Philosophy (2004)

Registered member of the BACP: 392891

BACP Registration Certificate

No matter where your path leads, I’d be honoured to be part of your journey.