My experience as a counselling professional is both broad and varied and includes, setting up and managing my own counselling agency where I worked as both counsellor and clinical lead, lecturing in HE, training other counselling professionals, providing clinical supervision for both individuals and groups, group therapy, delivering workshops, guest lecturing and conference presenter.
On a personal level, I am a mum, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin and a friend. I enjoy books, walks, music, good food with open-minded company. The comfort of warm and kind companions. AND, last but not least – a good laugh.
Like many others entering the profession, counselling was a second career for me.
“A career of two halves.” From actor to counsellor and back again.
The first half of my working life was spent performing as a singer, dancer and actor in theatres, TV, cruise ships, end of pier shows and holiday venues in the UK and abroad. I later progressed into the management of other performers, producing and choreographing many shows over the years and then setting up and running my own successful actors agency.
Helping people to develop, grow and to achieve their dreams has always been a hugely rewarding part of the work that I do and was unquestionably key to my decision to start counsellor training in 2004.
“Every blade of grass has its Angel bending over and whispering, “Grow, grow.” (The Talmud. Chapin & Chapin, 2012).
Sixteen years on and the study of the human condition is as fascinating as ever to me and working in the counselling industry is something that I enjoy immensely.
The parallels between the two careers are surprisingly many and I finally feel at that juncture of personal development where I can assimilate and integrate all the learning from both careers into a cohesive useful model of “being” that is helpful to others and unique to me.
“I’m beginning to find me. It’s great.” (Rita in Educating Rita. Willy Russell, 1983).
“The Eternal Student.”
I continue to study, research, learn and reflect on self and practice every day.
I attained BACP Accreditation (2014) and a Diploma in Clinical Supervision (2014). I have a Diploma in Counselling (2007) and a Masters Degree in Counselling Studies (2013), receiving a Distinction for my dissertation research entitled “A Qualitative Study of Counsellors’ Experiences and Perceptions of the Evolving Political and Professional Environment.”
As the title suggests, I like to keep abreast of developments across the profession, including government initiatives and changes to legislation.
I returned to acting in 2019 and as well as ‘treading the boards’ myself and writing short plays and films, I also enjoy helping other actors with their mental health by creating content that addresses a few of the many dilemma’s that they face in their lives and chosen careers.
I also work with actors in one-to-one and group sessions on their personal and professional development. Here are some of the more common themes that actors bring to explore.
Performance and career based themes
- Finding your ‘special’ – what makes you unique?
- Personal and professional image, branding and focus
- Real self v’s public self – living a two faced life
- Rejection and imposter syndrome. How to keep the faith in the face of multiple rejections
- Performance anxiety, nerves, stage fright.
- Personal development. Self-awareness in the space and using the whole of self in your performance.
- Professional development, up-skilling, diversifying, earning a living.
- Self care, time out, detaching, self-love, mental health awareness.
Life and personal issues
- Anxiety and Depression
- Confidence and self-esteem.
- Grief and Bereavement
- Traumatic experience
- Family and relationship issues
- Emotional and behavioural issues – self-control, addiction, anger, stress
If you’re looking for a counsellor that can genuinely understand the issues you’re facing (because I’ve been there myself!) and cut across both supporting you with your mental health and discussing and advising on career related themes, then please do get in touch!