I have been interested in health and wellbeing for many years, having initially trained as a clinical physiologist specialising in cardiology. For some time I worked in various NHS hospitals in London before moving to Sussex to raise a family and care for my parents - although I continued to work part-time at hospitals in Portsmouth and Midhurst.
Looking for a career that would better fit around my home life and family commitments at the time (three children, two dogs, large and weed-filled garden!) as well as one that would incorporate my interests and use some of the knowledge gained during my professional life to date, I decided to re-train in reflexology and change my professional focus.
Through working with my reflexology clients, I soon realised that my listening and relational skills were as important for their support as my practical skills. And so began several years of counselling training ...
I now practice primarily as a humanistic and integrative counsellor but also as a complementary therapist (children grown-up, one dog, garden unchanged!).
Training and Qualifications
My counselling diploma included modules in human development in relation to counselling, Person-centred therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis and working with young people and couples.
My degree included modules on the use of creativity in counselling, existential therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and working with addictions.
I also have certificates advanced counselling skills, bereavement counselling with children and adults and in the foundations of analytical psychology.
In 2014, I completed Mindfulness-based stress reduction training.
Further training each year is mandatory, in order to maintain my professional registrations.
In addition I have a diploma in reflexology (Eunice Ingham method) and certificates in essential oil therapy and vertical reflex therapy (VRT).
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); a member of the Hampshire Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (HACP); and a full member of The Association of Reflexologists (AoR). All members of these professional bodies have undergone recognised and rigorous training, work to a strict codes of practice and ethics and are fully insured. In addition, it is compulsory for all members to participate in continuing professional development.
All AoR members have also attended reflexology training courses that not only meet The National Occupational Standards for Complementary Therapies but also have a qualification of at least level 3 or above on the Government (and employer) recognised Qualifications Credit Framework (which is in line with The European Qualifications Framework). Since January 2011, all reflexology training courses of level 3 or above have been delivered to a national standard.
Successful completion of a first aid course is an integral part of the training and I hold a current first aid certificate and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates for the organisations with whom I work.
I am also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). This organisation is supported by The Department of Health who recommend G.P's to advise patients seeking a complementary therapist to select one whose name appears on the CNHC register (see The DoH GP Bulletin for October 2010 - complementary healthcare regulation section).
In January 2011 The Department of Health wrote, "Over the last two years the CNHC has clearly done a lot to set standards for a range of complementary healthcare disciplines and the Department welcomes its continued good work. The CNHC is sponsored by the Department and we recommend that where people are looking for complementary healthcare practitioners, they use someone who is CNHC-registered."
In addition to my private counselling and complementary therapy practice, I am currently working as a volunteer counsellor with The Bereavement Counselling Charity, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire and, until March 2016 when their free in-house counselling service for tenants closed, for Radian - a large social housing provider in the south of England.