The Short, Formal Answer:
I am a UKCP Psychotherapist who has specialised in working with people how have suffered severe accidents that have resulted in psychological trauma, teacher, manager and careers guidance officer with over 30 years experience. I work successfully with organisations and individuals, improving mental wellbeing leading to happy, healthy, productive, people and teams.
In 2005 I created Life Designs and more Ltd, a company dedicated to helping people recover from traumatic life events and mental ill health, in addition I use my psychotherapy and training skills to help individuals and businesses develop and grow.
I am committed to becoming the best I can be and attend regular training and development courses. This additional learning keeps me up-to-date and affords me the additional skills to use with clients.
The Longer More Informal Answer:
In 1987 I was a part time teacher of adults at Accrington and Rossendale College of Further and Higher Education, and was inspired by students’ ambition to improve their careers and life experiences. Within a year I was asked to join Student Services, a department dedicated to ensuring students were signposted to the right courses for their career aspirations, given good quality careers coaching and counselling support. I loved this work so much I undertook further training and became a qualified Careers Advisor, and within 5 years I became the Manager of this department. Whilst interviewing adults who were returning to education and making the brave step to improve their lives, I realised they needed more than a careers interview. Many adults were stuck with unhelpful beliefs such as: ‘I’m not clever’; ‘I have no confidence’; ‘I’m too old’; ‘I have too many problems that will stop me from getting the career I want’. This was a significant turning point of my career path. I took more qualifications to give me the counselling and psychotherapy skills needed to help and I was hooked. I loved helping people achieve their goals; settle into college and overcome life’s adversities (divorce, ill health, bereavement, low self esteem, lack of confidence and self belief etc). Then came another turning point in my career, my job was becoming more strategic, I had worked at the College for 18 years and I knew I didn’t want to retire from there. I reviewed my skills and noticed what I liked doing best, I was doing least. So, I resigned and started my company, Life Designs and more Ltd.
I’m now in the best job in the world, I help people assess their situation and help them overcome difficulties and setbacks, create new ways of being so they have a more comfortable and successful future.
I have specialised in direct and indirect effects of trauma and support individuals to overcome traumatic events (such as difficult and challenging childhoods, violence, life changing accidents and incidents, separation and divorce, domestic violence and abuse etc) affecting health and wellbeing. I deliver early interventions (within 48 hours) on company premises to help employers and employees who have experienced a critical incident resulting in sudden death, attack or injury, overcome the effects the shock and trauma. I also provide counselling/supervision to charities and organisations whose staff are delivering difficult and harrowing services: including NHS staff, domestic violence workers, social services personnel, etc
And in my spare time.
For 5 years I was a counsellor and shift leader for Care Line, a Christmas and New Year ITV & BBC telephone helpline.
I set up and ran a free weekly ‘Knitters That Natter’ group for elderly residents of Haslingden and Helmshore. The aims and objectives for this group are to prevent depression and anxiety associated with isolation; encourage communication and friendships; promote health and wellbeing through activity and connection while knitting items for own use or donations for charity (eg clothes and blankets for Uganda, knee warmers for older people in the UK, hats for the homeless etc)
For two years I was actively involved with Agapao, a charity connecting the UK and Uganda and spent time teaching skills to women’s groups in villages of southern Uganda.
‘Knitting Communities Together’ was a 12 month international project lead by Dawn and Pat Smith (Environmental Artist), which encouraged people to knit bunting for Rawtenstall Annual Fair and then used the bunting to make 85 blankets. This project connected people in many ways, adding to their feelings of wellbeing and sense of community. The spin off was, ‘In Stitches’. A monthly meet up of people who enjoy working with textiles and encourages members to create pieces for themselves and exhibition. This group provides a place of friendship and connection, combating isolation and loneliness.