I’ve been volunteering in the area of mental health for more than two decades. I started out visiting local youth clubs with a home made display on eating disorders when I was 17, and despite going on to study a variety of different subjects including occupational therapy and physics (not at the same time!) at university, I eventually came back to mental health, beginning my counselling training in 2009 and qualifying in 2013. When I moved to Newcastle in 2010, I started by getting involved with NIWE Eating Distress Service, variously as a trustee, campaigner and sessional counsellor. I have also done some training and awareness events for them in local schools, colleges, and other educational and health organisations.
Alongside eating disorders I really enjoy working with young people, and my second placement during my counselling training was at a local high school. I worked a lot with students struggling with self harm, bullying and abuse, anxiety and depression. I also have experience of working with self harm and issues around abuse outside of my training.
I have been a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy since I qualified. This means that I meet the standards the BACP say are necessary for a therapist to be an safe, ethical practitioner. In 2019 I also gained accreditation with the BACP, which means I also meet their higher standards for more experienced therapists. The code of ethics I work to which is set out by the BACP can be found here.
A note about my qualifications: it is common for counsellors to qualify after a two year diploma or foundation degree. I took this route, finishing my foundation degree with the University of Sunderland in 2013. I then continued with another University of Sunderland course designed to ‘top-up’ my qualification to a full Bachelor of Arts – hence, qualifying to work 2013 but not completing my degree until a year later. I gained my BA with First Class Honours in summer 2014. I’ve also since completed two Masters in psychology and research methods.
When I’m not at work I can be found charging around the countryside attempting to photograph unusual birds and butterflies, at the beach looking for new shiny stones to put in my family’s rock tumbler, or trying not to melt my eyebrows with my fire poi.
Education and experience
2013 – present: Therapist in private practice.
2010 – 2018: NIWE Eating Distress Service, trustee (2010-15) & sessional counsellor (2016-18).
2012 – 2013: Heaton Manor School, volunteer counsellor.
2011 – 2011: Barnardos, Pyramid Club Leader (supporting children identified as vulnerable).
2016 – 2017 MRes Psychology, Distinction – Northumbria University
2015 – 2016 MSc Psychology, Distinction – Northumbria University
2011 – 2014: BA (Hons) Counselling, First Class – University of Sunderland.
2010 – 2011: Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory – NCFE.
2010 – 2010: Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills – CPCAB.
2005 – 2006: University Certificate in Rehabilitation Studies – Bournemouth University.