About Me: Becoming the Therapist at Your Side

I love working as a therapist now I know the power of listening helps you heal.

My whole purpose as a therapist is to be an effective listener so you can unburden yourself and feel better. 

I never thought I’d become a therapist, but mum always encouraged me to let others speak. She often advised me to take a back seat and let others talk because she saw something in me I didn’t know I had.

Later in life, I tried various careers, and all the while, I noticed others sharing their struggles with me. It usually started with something like this:

I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but… 

When in my 50s, I went through a “sticky patch”. I went to see a local counsellor and experienced my first “light-bulb moment”; this was a significant event, and it changed everything. I had an uplifting experience, and it was such an intense feeling. A large chunk of anxiety and anger completely vanished, leaving me feeling lighter and surprised. 

The baggage I had buried and carried around for decades just vanished! I learned to stop projecting my negative expectations onto the world with further sessions. Hence I began to stop focussing on the bad and became more optimistic.

I find being a counsellor so rewarding. I never tire of meeting people and have become very patient – another miracle. And do you know what? It’s such a buzz to realise I am doing what I was born to do – that means I am 100% committed to helping you.

A Sense of Mission

I’ve learned much about human personality and realised strengths can be a power for others. It’s a gift that can empower you to grow stronger yourself. 

I’d like to help you – if you’ll give it a go.

You may see your troubles or “mistakes” as signs of weakness. However, I see such things as blessings because, through your struggle, you learn something valuable about yourself. I’ve no regrets, far from it. I put all my experience at your disposal, hoping that you feel the kind of relief and personal growth I do.

A Therapist SUPER POWER

You may not know this, but being deeply understood by someone changes your brain chemistry. Recent studies have shown that there is more synapse-building during counselling – precisely what happens during early childhood when we grow a sense of self. 

I never liked football and rowdiness when I was young because I was naturally a quiet person. But it’s a significant problem if you don’t like confrontation. In contrast, someone who is naturally non-confrontational, like me, makes a damn helpful therapist if you need to talk to someone.

Over 20 Years in Mental Health

Around 2001, I began volunteering at a mental health helpline in Barnsley. I quickly realised how just talking makes you feel better. Most people have little idea about giving attention, but we learned how to harness our natural ability consciously to its full benefit. And like I said earlier, it changes your brain chemistry.

In 2006 I began a job in learning disabilities. I supported adult males who had challenging behaviour to live the best quality of life as they pursued activities in the community and encouraged public acceptance for them. I use these skills today to give you the space to express yourself without fear of being judged. 

My Experience as a Therapist

During and after training at Doncaster College, I volunteered for three years in NHS occupational health, counselling their staff and those referred via EAP contracts. As you can imagine, their environment was quite stressful, so it helped me hone my listening skills further. But at the end of the day, your therapy with me would be effective because I know that being heard takes your stress level down.

I also volunteered for three years at Pathways Family Support in Barnsley for the concerns I work with today. Here I learned how to help people recover from low self-esteem when living in toxic relationships. Significantly, for the quality of the sessions with you, I saw the links between anxiety, anger, and other issues and honed my skills for future clients.

Qualifications and Training

I like doing the best I can. So I study constantly, updating my knowledge and choosing the courses that best suit my interpersonal style. At the time of writing (2022), I hold three diplomas, including one for online counselling.

Did you know that most therapists who offer online meetings don’t qualify for that mode?

Counselling diplomas

Continual Professional Development

Here are just some of the courses I have done since qualifying as a therapist:

  • Working with Dreams and Imagery, 2014
  • Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect, 2015, Core V5
  • CEOP ThinkYouKnow, 2016
  • Working with Trauma Short-Term, 2016
  • BACP Relational Depth & Emotional Connection in Online Therapy, 2016, BACP
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness, 2016, Pathways, Barnsley
  • Solution Focussed Approaches, 2016, Solution Focus Sheffield
  • Identity, 2017, BACP
  • Introduction to Gestalt, 2018, Gestalt Sheffield
  • Grief Works: Stories of Death and Surviving, 2018, BACP
  • Practical Counselling Strategies and Interventions in Addiction Work, 2018, BACP
  • Loss-What Does Life Mean For Me Now?, 2018, BACP
  • Man Up, 2019, BACP
  • Relational Trauma, 2019, PODS
  • Understanding Eating Disorders, 2019, SYEDA
  • Shame – Trauma, 2019, BACP
  • How to Deal with a Narcissistic Personality, 2020, Mind-Body Training Institute
  • Dealing with Distress, 2020, Carolyn Spring
  • Trauma Memories, 2021, Carolyn Spring
  • Trauma Triggers and Flashbacks, 2021, Carolyn Spring

I’m not going to try and list all the books I’ve read!

I Look After My Health to be an Effective Therapist

I see life as a process meant to enjoy to the full.

Like yourself, I get challenged at times, but through working on myself, I overcome them. I like doing the work because it gives me meaning, but some recreational activities have stayed with me as a self-care thing.

  • Tai Chi
  • Countryside walks
  • Gardening – fair weather only!
  • Socialising – I have a few good friends

Tai chi is a slow version of ancient martial art that promotes general good health, mind and body working together. I’ve been practising since 1990 and now use the skills of stillness and calm so that you won’t be distracted by a fidgeting therapist.

I go walking to maintain general health. I can reset and clear my mind during a short walk in the local woods or fields. This helps me to deal with my own baggage so I can give you my full attention.

I’m involved in a gardening group at Wath church. We chat whilst tickling the flower beds. I find it very therapeutic, as do most people who try it. It’s a relaxing space where people talk freely – just what I aim to provide for you if you need to offload.

I’ve enjoyed the company of a few domestic pets over the years; we have had several dogs and a cat. Here’s a little confession: since qualifying, for fun, I learned to read their body language, effectively practising my skills on them! I found that animals suddenly grow more communicative when they realise somebody is listening for a change. It’s almost certain that you will find it quite natural to talk to me because you will experience me as a good listener.

You could experience being deeply understood by a therapist. It can make such a difference. 

Photo by Jacob Kiesow on Unsplash