I started my working life as a Psychiatric Nurse but, a few years after qualification, realised that the institutional way of caring for patients didn't feel right to me and I could not change that institutional way of caring. I decided to leave nursing and do something completely different and joined the RAF. I served in the RAF for over 30 years and felt comfortable supporting and nurturing the members of my team.
During this period I had my own family and became very involved with children and young people in a variety of roles, including youth club leader, Children's Panel member, Swimming Team member and various assisting roles in my local school. This work with children and young people has led me to realise the importance of early intervention when they are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. If I could do my children and young people's counselling for free I would! As it is, I try to make it as financially accessible as possible, in an attempt to help them not carry this distress into their adult life where it can negatively affect their future.
Over time, contact with people from the LGBT community and a transgender training event have heightened my awareness of the difficulties faced by LGBT people, despite societal changes. As a counsellor who will work with gender and sexually diverse clients from an affirmative standpoint, I am registered with Pink Therapy.
A recent training workshop about working with men that have been sexually abused has heightened my awareness of the impact of sexual abuse in men and helped me to understand the difficulties men face from sexual abuse: a lack of trust, fear of intimacy, anger, questions of sexuality and difficulties in sustaining a relationship can be consequences of sexual abuse and I can gently explore these, and other feelings, with survivors of male sexual abuse.
I started training as a counsellor in 2004 and gained my Diploma in Counselling in 2009, going on to gain a post qualifying Diploma in Counselling Children and Adolescents in November 2011. In 2013 I gained my BACP Accreditation. Additionally, I have had 8 years of working as a Family Mediator with Relationships Scotland. I can combine the strands of individual counselling, young people's counselling and mediation to work with families, helping them to improve communication and resolve differences.
I have worked as a Person Centred Counsellor since 2008 with people that have experienced depression, relationship difficulties, anxiety, anger issues, expressed suicidal thoughts, bereavement or loss, difficulties around their sexuality, been victims of abuse and various other traumatic issues in their lives that have caused them to seek help. I don't consider myself an expert in any particular area, I think that the people I work with are their own experts. I believe that I can honestly say that I am open to, accepting of and able to work with whatever people choose to bring to me.
I work from The Park House Business Centre in South Street, Elgin (see map). Access is via two flights of stairs, so if you have mobility difficulties, please let me know and we can try to arrange an alternative meeting place.
As an accredited member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I am bound by their Ethical Principles and am on the BACP Register of Counsellors/Psychotherapists.