I began training as a counsellor in 2009 and qualified in summer 2013, but I’ve been volunteering in the area of mental health for well over a decade. 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. From 2010 onwards I have volunteered with, and more recently worked for, NIWE Eating Distress Service, variously as a trustee, campaigner and counsellor. I also do 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 counselling 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 counsellor 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 as a counsellor in 2013 but not completing my degree until a year later. I gained my BA with First Class Honours in summer 2014. I’ve since completed two Masters in psychology and psychological research methods, and began a PhD on the impact of interpersonal trauma on autistic people in September 2018.
When I’m not counselling 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.
2013 – present: Counsellor in private practice.
2010 – present: NIWE Eating Distress Service, trustee (2010-15) & 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.