I am a Counsellor, Hakomi Practitioner, Coach and Teacher. I have a background in Science and 20 years’ experience in education, both as a Teacher and Coach. I have worked for over 10 years developing one-to-one methods of supporting people to help them manage their personal and professional growth through reflective practice.
Alongside my experience working in education, I have 8 years’ experience as a volunteer listener with Samaritans, and this where I first became interested in supporting others in an emotionally supportive way. During my time at Samaritans I was also a leader and a trainer. Hakomi was my first love in terms of therapy, it is the approach that brought me home to myself. I have 8 years experiential training with a variety of therapy practitioners in the Hakomi Method of mindfulness-based, body-centred, assisted self-study.
I am also trained as a Person-Centred counsellor and volunteered as part of the course at Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Centre for a time. I have been a volunteer for the past two years at Liverpool Bereavement Service - this started during my training and I have stayed on because of the community there, and because I feel that support around death and dying is so important.
I have a BACP Accredited Master's degree in Clinical Counselling (with distinction) and I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy which means I work within their ethical framework. You can find out more about this here: https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/
Having completed the Hakomi training, I am also a certified Hakomi Practitioner and Teacher. Over the years I have assisted on the Hakomi trainings and also facilitated introductory workshops, practice groups and coaching groups in this method. Currently I teach as part of the Hakomi Lancaster training team.
You can find more information about Hakomi through the Hakomi Education Network here: https://www.hakomieducation.net/
Teaching and coaching
In addition to completing a PGCE in Secondary Science teaching I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) and have a Master's degree in Advanced Educational Practice which focused on mentoring and coaching. I have also completed a certificate in coaching and mentoring with the Institute of Leadership and Management.
I have a long interest in bodies from my growing interest during school and college which led to my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences. Following this I trained as a science teacher and taught biology for a number of years. When I then found Hakomi, it seemed to bring together my interest in our physicality with the internal experiencing of this. Hakomi is a mindfulness based somatic practice that co-creates an exploration of your experiencing of yourself. This is part of my own self-care and I’m interested in how this can support other helpers in their work too.
I have been studying Hakomi for a number of years which has its roots in Taoism and Buddhism. During my counselling training, my research explored the connection between body, mind, emotions and spirit. This holism is one of the principles of Hakomi. Alongside these things, I have completed non-religious pastoral care training and am currently researching spirituality and the impact of religion and spirituality can have on us. I would describe my own spirituality as secular, agnostic, and steeped in my love of nature. Connected to this, it seems to me that questions of life and death are such a big part of our experience as humans. My volunteering work has included listening as a Samaritan, counselling in a cancer support service and a bereavement service and facilitating Death Cafes. Suicide, health and loss feel related to death and embodiment.
"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." Brené Brown
I enjoy creating things and this ranges from online creation of images for social media, to the production and design of the resources I use to brand my therapy work and workshops, to more specialist design of resources for training and workshops. I have also supported the design of educational materials over the years, including the redesign of an emotional intelligence booklet and developed the resources used when I have delivered training for Samaritans.
Deeper than this is the creative process which seems very much about connecting to the core of who we are. There is something fundamental in all that I’m trained in that seems to be about non-directivity and supporting people to listen deeply to themselves. It is a vulnerable place to trust our inner voice and express this outwardly in some way and finding safe spaces to do this feels vitally important.