I am a Lecturer and Counsellor, working with clients and students from a variety of backgrounds in South Africa and the UK. I have a private practice and worked for agencies as a counsellor, consultant and manager of counselling teams. I focused my career on supporting NGOs in service delivery offering counselling for HIV prevention and care, Hospice, LifeLine, Bereavement Services, Primary and High School environments. I consulted on programs for local government, private businesses, and set up counselling responses to the 2017-18 Knysna Fires and 2020 Covid pandemic.
I fell in love with psychology as a subject completing my International Baccalaureate and pursued a career in counselling after realising that the therapeutic versus diagnostic part of the profession was where I felt a vocation.
I am so fortunate to have worked both in remotely rural and urban spaces in South Africa where I am from originally.
During my practitioner training, I was fortunate to work in a postmodernist learning environment that encouraged reflexivity. Following my educational goals changed me as a person. Embarking on my final stage of counselling training I felt a new yearning for a life ahead of me that I had never envisioned before, one more rooted in purpose and beneficence. Knowing the concept of Ubuntu that I am because we are, I shifted career goals towards finding intrinsic meaning and community in the work. The University of Fort Hare ran a project training paraprofessional counsellors and in that space of deep collaboration co- creating an understanding of the practice of counselling grappling with existential questions about mental health, therapy and healing, I realised that I sat more comfortably with myself when I was involved in supporting projects for people that generally did not have access to mental health services.
I therefore developed my counselling practice through working for organisations that had projects offering individual, family and group therapy. I also developed community-based interventions in response to key mental health issues and national disasters.
Counselling is about reciprocity; my view and experience of life has expanded through the work that I do. Through being with others making sense of it all I am constantly discovering new meaning and understanding whilst expanding a sense of self and being in the world.
I have lived a rich career and personal experience due to being open to the journey that counselling takes you on. The work has afforded me community development, management and private practice experiences in a range of communities and organisations. Since arriving in the UK I have been fortunate to expand my practice to working online and embark on lecturing.
I love the fact that lecturing enables me to share this experience with trainee counsellors, hopefully demonstrating that their degree can afford a range of personal, professional and entrepreneurial development.
Professional memberships and activities
- Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Staffordshire University
- MA Soc. Sc. Counselling Psychology, University of Fort Hare
- Honours BA Psychology, University of South Africa
- BA (Psychology), University of South Africa
- Narrative Therapy
- Trauma informed therapy
- Bereavement therapy
- Systemic interventions
- Reflexivity for professional and personal development
- Reflexivity regarding ecosystem
- Lecturer in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
Keene, G. S. (2011) Reflexivity with regards to sexual decision making: A study of a group of adolescents, living in the context of an informal settlement, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa VDM Verlag: Saarbrucken