Alan Frankland has championed the development of counselling, psychotherapy and counselling psychology for nearly 40 years.
A Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), Alan's early ambition was to be a teaching missionary and he briefly worked as a school teacher before discovering his future was in Psychology.
He said: "I remember realising early on in my teaching career, that I was more concerned with why a child was or wasn't learning rather than the subject content."
After gaining a first degree in Developmental Psychology at the University of Sussex and training as a teacher for the tertiary sector, Alan joined Trent Polytechnic (now Nottingham Trent University) in 1971 to teach Psychology and Social Studies before completing an MA in Applied Social Studies at Nottingham University to develop skills relevant to training in the helping professions.
Appointed Head of Division of Counselling and Psychotherapy in 1994, Alan co-led the development of an innovative programme of Counsellor and Psychotherapy Training courses from Foundation to Masters level. A similar model has since been adopted by Staffordshire University with Alan's guidance, and as a result, students have gone on to excel in the profession.
"These courses were among the first to open the doors to encourage postgraduate students and less academic students with life experience to learn from each other. It was a hard scheme to set up but the experiences shared during the course were worth it."
Alongside a busy academic life, Alan was also involved in setting up a system for voluntary accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and played an active role in the formation of the Division of Counselling Psychology within the British Psychological Society (BPS) which has developed Counselling Psychology as a recognised profession.
He said: "15 years ago, Counselling Psychology did not exist and now it is the second largest division in the BPS. I am very proud to have played a part in gaining recognition for the profession."
After leaving Trent, Alan worked as Registrar for the BPS Board of Examiners in Counselling Psychology and as a part-time NHS Consultant Psychologist to help develop policy on Dual Diagnosis and to support the development of counselling psychologists throughout the Trust.
The award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Alan in recognition his contribution to counselling and commitment to the development of the therapeutic professions of counselling, psychotherapy and counselling psychology.