I began my professional life as a general nurse, training at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, London. This provided me with invaluable experience, and I can draw on this when working with clients with physical health concerns. I felt passionately about nursing, however I was acutely aware of the emotional needs of the patients, and the lack of time and resource available for these. I wanted to develop the skills and knowledge to provide this very essential support, and this led to my decision to train as a psychologist. I studied (for over 5 years) to become a Chartered Counselling Psychologist at the University of Surrey Roehampton.
I have worked in a variety of settings, including a student counselling service, a hospital outpatient counselling service, and within the voluntary sector. Whilst I can work with a wide range of concerns, I have extensive experience working with people with physical health concerns and conditions, such as cancer, burns scarring, skin conditions, facial palsy, disfigurement and disability, and the many challenges that these can bring – physically, psychologically, socially and culturally.
I am trained in an integrative approach, and this means that I can refer to and apply a number of theories and models to gather a more full understanding of the problems people present with. This integrative approach fits with my belief that no single theory is comprehensive enough to account for the complexities of human behaviour. I have received training in three of the most historical theoretical approaches – cognitive behavioural therapy, the psychodynamic approach and person-centred counselling.
I have provided some more information about these different theoretical approaches in the FAQ section if you want to know more. You can also find a brief synopsis of the different types of professionals who offer counselling support in this section, as this can be confusing when you first start to look for help.