I originally trained as a microbiologist and worked as a medical laboratory scientific officer in pathology at Withington Hospital, Manchester (2 years) and, ten years later, at Manchester Royal Infirmary. The ten year intervening period was time at home as a mother with three children; return to work was not as fulfilling as expected.
This prompted a change of direction. I retrained as a Relate counsellor in 1995, funding my way by working as a school chemistry lab technician. I obtained a salaried counsellor position working with individuals, couples and young people at Relate, Greater Manchester South. I could then further my experience and training, obtaining a postgraduate diploma and MA. I moved to a position as casework supervisor in Cheshire.
This came with necessary training at the same time as carrying out research for my MA; a busy two years! My research was also a personal journey and shed light on my own experiences of my father dying when I was twelve. Partly as a result of this study my confidence grew and, in 2006, my career evolved to include lecturing in counselling, leader of 3 reflective practice groups, as well as practice and supervision roles in Relate.
In September 2013 I left Relate after almost 20yrs with the agency. I now have a small private practice offering counselling to individuals and couples as well as private supervision and some training. This fits well with my role at Staffordshire University.
Professional memberships and activities
Member of British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists
Member of the Association of Family Therapy
2007 PGCE post compulsory education, UCLAN
2005 MA in Couple Therapy, Relate and UEL
2003 Post-graduate Diploma Couple Therapy, Relate and UEL
Relate Certificate in Supervision
Relate Certificate in Marital and Couple Counselling
Systemic Training for work with families
Counselling Young people, Relate
1995 Certificate Counselling Skills, Stockport College/ Manchester University
1980 Withington Hospital, State Registration of CPSM, Clinical Sciences
1979 Manchester Metropolitan University, BSc Hons (2.2) Biological Sciences
I have 15 years experience of providing counselling with a relational focus for couples, individuals and families. In addition I have worked for over 5years in a licensed fertility clinic offering counselling to couples having treatment for infertility issues. I work in an integrated way blending Attachment Theory and a Systemic approach. Reflective practice is an important aspect of the way I work and I have facilitated personal and professional development groups since 2006. I currently facilitate a reflective practice group for clinical psychologists.
Research for my MA focused on stories of women whose fathers had died in childhood. I was interested in exploring their experiences of this event and the impact on their further development and on their intimate couple relationships. This was a qualitative research study using a heuristic approach and semi-structured interviews aimed at facilitating the participants’ narratives. Themes were linked with concepts from Attachment, Systemic and Narrative Theoretical frames.
An Action Research project undertaken as part of my PGCE looked at introducing Reflective Writing as a tool for reflective practice with trainee counsellors.
Certificate in Counselling; Facilitator of Personal and Professional Development Group, personal tutor and lecturer – relational aspects of counselling theory; attachment, family systems, importance of context, diversity.
Postgraduate/Professional Diploma, MSc Psychotherapeutic Counselling
Professional Doctorate Clinical Psychology; facilitator of reflective practice group
Introducing Reflective Writing to Student Counsellors: is this a useful tool for personal development? (In press)