My father worked for the UN so we lived all over the world as I grew up which, whilst being very interesting, almost meant that I spent most of it at boarding school in the UK which was not so interesting and is probably one of the reasons we ended up home educating our 4 children! I studied and worked in the UK until Steve and I moved to New Zealand in the 1990s – he is a Kiwi and I lived in Fiji as a child so being in the South Pacific was good for both of us and our kids. Home education is not uncommon there and school did not seem like it would be a good environment for our son, Gabriel, who is probably autistic (high functioning) although he’s not diagnosed so, as his older sister, Rorie, was very unhappy in school we decided to give home ed a go and it suited us as we were both working from home – Steve making musical instruments and I was counselling. It also happened that Rorie developed ME in her early teens and with Gabriel’s idiosyncrasies having a home based life worked well for everyone including our two younger girls, Mika and Luca. We moved to the UK 5 years ago as my mother is here and needs care. Rorie is now 24 and finishing her drama degree in London while still managing life with ME; Gabriel is 22, doing an OU Psychology degree alongside his real passion of film music composition and is considering going away to uni in October; Mika is 17 and in ballet training in Glasgow and Luca is in college studying performing arts – oh for a plumber or electrician – I blame Steve for their artistic tendencies! It might be helpful for you to see that I have some experience of living with children with long term and chronic issues although not of the same critical intensity as most of your families, of course.
My interest in helping work began early and I am pleased that I settled on counselling for how best I could offer this. The theoretical base I have used for a long time now is loss, change and grief as my experience is that most people needing to work with me are going through some kind of loss whether this be, for example, bereavement, redundancy, illness, relationship, self-confidence or even loss of a dream. I come from a humanistic training and have developed a style that has relationship at its core as I believe this allows us to understand ourselves and our challenges more deeply. I hope to enable folk to become curious about themselves and their lives – how come me, how come this, how come now for instance – and to hold a space that enables the expression of sorrows and insights and also joys. I am also trained in Feng Shui which I have found very helpful when working with clients who are ‘stuck’ in the counselling process or as a way in for clients who are resistant to counselling.
Sessions are held at an mutually agreed time in Birstall, Leeds.