I have lived in West Yorkshire since 1992. Although I was born and had my childhood in the West Country, I feel Yorkshire is my home. I qualified as a dietician in 1988 and, after working in the NHS for 25 years, I decided to retrain as a counsellor and psychotherapist. I completed my training in 2013 and soon began further training in mindfulness.
Mindfulness and aspects of Buddhism have helped me see my life from a new and fresh perspective. I see that sometimes I am responsible for my own suffering, my little frustrations and anxieties. Building my own meditative practice has led to a calmer and simpler life.
I practise my counselling from a belief that many illnesses, either physical or mental, are a result of a necessary adaptation to the stresses everyday life has thrown at us. These can be obvious stresses, such as having little money or no work, and less obvious ones like the impact of having an ill parent whilst growing up, or bullying at school.
As a counsellor, I help individuals to see themselves holistically; not just as a person with a problem who needs fixing, but as a physical body that needs nurturing and taking care of, with an active enquiring mind that enjoys stimulation and an emotional person who flourishes when they feel loved and can love. We work to gain awareness of your experiences and how these affect thoughts and behaviours. When we understand these patterns, we can explore how to make different choices or actions that might be more helpful to you.
In my work, I also incorporate an important concept from Buddhism, which is that we create some of our own personal distress. This can best be described in the story of the Second Arrow of Suffering. Buddha would describe the First Arrow as one which is true suffering, such as loss of a loved one, loss of our health, disasters, and many more real experiences. The second arrow is the one we cause ourselves. This is the thinking, perception, and beliefs by which we judge the first arrow.
Finally I would not be where I am now were it not for the brave clients who have come to me and who have been able and willing to begin a journey toward self-fulfilment, no matter how hard it seemed.
My Insightfulness Counselling and Psychotherapy practice offers both individual therapy and group Mindfulness courses.