I began my career in 1986 teaching children, then adults in Spain, before working for over twenty years in community care and children and families' settings . In my own life and in working with a wide range of people of all ages , backgrounds and difficulties, I have felt and seen the benefit of supportive relationships to emotional health and growth.
Equality of opportunity for all people has always been important to me and I saw counselling as one way to enable this at a more personal, individual level. Work with children inspired an interest in child development and the influence of early experience on present ways of being. I qualified in counselling in 1998, integrating theories through experience over time, developing an 'integrative' style; meeting people as individuals and responding flexibly , working together with the person in different ways as their needs emerge.
Always at the heart of my work the relationship has remained the priority, whether this be the alliance between us to work together to explore difficulties ; the 'here and now' relationship which meets our human need to be heard , understood, and learn through interaction ; or the 'transferential' relationship, where we may become aware that we are transferring feelings about the past onto the counselling relationship, which can be of help in discovering beliefs about ourselves and the world and working through feelings.
I have learned that paying attention to what our nervous systems are telling us,noticing what triggers these physiological responses, and finding ways of staying in the present moment , help our emotional well-being. Much current teaching about the effects of shock and stress emphasizes feeling physically safe in the present moment. For this reason, as well as seeking to offer an experience of safety in the therapeutic relationship itself, I may actively explore and support the development in counselling of whatever method helps individuals access an internal feeling of calm and security.