- When did you know you wanted to become a therapist?
My work has always involved working 1:1 with people. I spent a number of years working as a Massage Therapist and realised that often emotional responses could be triggered during the work. This led me into thinking about the mind-body connection and realising that perhaps this was an area that I might be good at. People have always ‘talked to me’, so I decided to explore this.
- Where did you start your training?
At Strathclyde University’s Counselling Unit in 1996 when I started their Certificate in Counselling Skills which was the first step that led to the Diploma in Counselling, and eventually to a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy at Stirling University.
- How long have you been a therapist?
I qualified in 2000 with a Diploma in Counselling from Strathclyde University. I work entirely in Private Practice now, but have worked within the NHS, a hospice bereavement service, a student counselling service, I’m also a qualified supervisor offering supervision to other therapists.
- What's one of the most common questions people ask when they find out you are a therapist?
You’re not going to analyse me, are you?
- What would you say to anyone who is trying to make up their mind about going to therapy?
Do it! I know it’s a big step for many people, but the advantages are worth it. It’s hard to think about talking about things that are personal and that perhaps you’ve never shared before, and to be worried that you might be judged or that your issue may be ‘too big’ or that the therapist may not have come across what’s bothering you. In the time that I worked with clients I’ve rarely been shocked by a clients’ story, as the saying goes “there’s nothing new under the sun”. We’re all human and as such have the whole range of human experiences and feelings available to us.
- What would you say is the best thing about being a therapist?
Being able to share in the experiences of others and be part of a process of change which is meaningful, and sometimes life changing. I also love being able to work from home and organise my own diary, which means that I can spend time with my dog and I’m always around for her.
- What is your favourite quote?
I have so many! Quotes are inspirational to me, this is a really hard question to answer! I like this one, it reminds me that it’s my fear of failure that holds me back from trying sometimes, nothing else, and that it’s the trying that important, not the outcome.
- Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I’ve always been an avid reader – non-fiction n relation to work, and fiction. I enjoy crime, psychological thrillers and fantasy. I also enjoy jewellery making, especially working with copper which is a lovely metal to work with, and I also paint. Gardening when I get the time and the weather allows, although my garden is sometimes a bit overgrown, I like the ‘wild look’! - and, of course, dog training!