I am on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. The Register is the first psychological therapists’ register to be accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, which is accountable to the UK Parliament.
I am also an accredited member of BACP. In the words of the BACP website, accreditation represents a `higher level of quality assurance’ than that afforded by the Register, and is designed to `enable clients, employees and colleagues to recognise proven, competent practitioners.’
Originally a biologist, I retrained in Gestalt psychotherapy with the Gestalt Trust Scotland (GTS) between 1992 and 1996. Gestalt forms the basis of the work I do with people today, summed up in the phrase `I and Thou, Here and Now’, attributed to the German philosopher Martin Buber. This phrase encapsulates the life-changing and life-affirming possibilities inherent in the respectful meeting between two or more people, in contact with one another in the present moment.
Once I started working as a therapist, I came to understand, both personally and professionally, the primary significance of our family background in determining the person we become. Our lives are affected by events which impact on our family of origin, and by the choices and actions adopted by our parents, grandparents and ourselves in response to circumstances. Family Constellations therapy recognises the deep love and loyalty which exists between family members, often out of our awareness, and the difficulties which can arise as a result of this love. It provides a lens to examine issues related to our family background, and an approach towards resolving issues and difficulties rooted in family history. I trained in Family Constellations therapy with the Hellinger Institute of Britain in 2002-3, and continue to attend workshops and training events to this day.
I also came to understand the ubiquity of trauma. Most of us have experienced trauma at some point in our lives. The heritage of trauma can be felt and seen as conditioned responses, often non-adaptive, which arise when we face difficult situations: for example high levels of fear in social situations, or the desire to lash out at the first sign of conflict. We feel as if we are not in control of our own reactions. Traumatic responses are rooted in the body and may not always be accessible to traditional talking therapies. I trained in Sensorimotor therapy in 2011-12 because it provides non-intrusive body based approaches towards dealing with the impact of traumatic experiences. I have also attended other workshops and seminars on working with trauma and am a member of Trauma Training in Scotland.
For more information on each therapeutic approach, please see the relevant section of this website.
I have worked as a counsellor for seventeen years in private practice and in several Edinburgh counselling agencies. I have also worked as as trainer on a counselling Diploma course, as a workplace counsellor, and as the manager of a national telephone counselling service. I facilitate a long-term personal and professional development group for counsellors. I am passionate about psychotherapy, and have undertaken a lot of personal therapy in the past, as well as continuing to update my skills and understanding through reading, seminars and workshops.
I am married and live in Edinburgh with my wife and two children.