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Get to know your therapist

How do we learn to live alongside our suffering rather than immersed ‘within’ it? And how do we enter into a different relationship with those experiences that cause us pain, rather than focus our energy on trying to get rid of them?

As a Compassion Focused Therapist, I will not seek to label you or focus on what it ‘wrong’. Instead, I will seek to journey with you as we explore together your life experiences, your current view of yourself, how you currently cope with your fears and anxieties, and, how you may learn to flourish.

A little about me and my background

My route into this work began as far back as I can remember. Having experienced my own difficulties as a child and teenager, I found myself accessing therapy. I was fortunate enough to find a therapist who created the conditions I needed to feel safe enough to open up, explore and heal my pain. I will never forget that powerful experience of being emotionally held, listened to, and validated.

Therapy changed my world, and woke up a deep longing in me to offer the same safe emotional space for others who are suffering.

So, after leaving college, I decided to take a Counselling and Therapeutic Studies degree, graduating in 2004. This study enabled me to secure a role within a primary school, where for just over ten years I mentored young people who were experiencing emotional issues. I studied a Certificate in CBT to help support my work with younger people, and this re-ignited my passion to train as a therapist.

In 2015, I qualified as an accredited CBT practitioner, working in the NHS for a number of years and then eventually, establishing my private practice in 2018. More recently, I completed a post graduate certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT): a therapeutic approach that – as soon as I learned about – I felt fully at home with.

However, my formal training and qualifications would mean little without the very real experience of sitting in a therapy chair and feeling what it is like to be in therapy. Without question, this experience has shaped my work as a therapist and my ability to connect with those experiencing emotional pain.

Training and therapeutic influences

My background is varied, and I draw on the incredible teachings of Paul Gilbert and CFT in the majority of my work.

CFT has at its core the belief that the majority of what we experience is not our fault – we are born with tricky brains capable of powerful feelings and motives which we do not choose and we are raised in environments and have experiences we do not choose, all of which shape us and our responses. Experiencing trauma might mean that we function and live in survival, get safe mode, however it is possible to have a different experience, to live alongside our suffering and rather than just survive to actually flourish.

There is an analogy I like to use with my clients and that is, a lotus flower is a very beautiful flower but it is born out of a swamp. The lotus flower uses the mud and dirt of the swamp to flourish and grow. Similarly we can use our suffering and trauma to help us to develop and grow deep empathy and compassion, unlocking our pain and allowing us to flourish.

Another significant influence on my practice is meditation, which I have been practising and teaching for over 16 years. Through meditation, I have come to a better understanding of how the health of the mind can greatly influence how we perceive ourselves, other people and the world. All of this I can draw upon in my work as a therapist.

Qualifications and continued professional development

  • 2019 – 2020, Post Graduate Certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy, Derby University

  • 2013 – 2015, Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Salford University

  • 2012 – 2013, Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Studies, Manchester Centre for CBT

  • 2001 – 2004, Counselling and Therapeutic Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University

Next steps

If this approach sounds right for you, then the next step would be to arrange an initial meeting. You can get in touch via the contact form here on this site.

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