What is counselling?
I find it hard to define counselling because there are so many different views and modalities. Counselling can be a way of exploring what is going on for you with empathy. It is a place where you can reflect on what matters to you and share your inner thoughts or feelings. It can be a healing relationship. That’s what counselling has been for me in the past.
Who has inspired you on your counselling journey?
Some of my past therapists have inspired me with their compassion and ability to offer space. One of my tutors was a big inspiration for me when I was training. I remember she took a few of us up the hills to drum and yell. As we started to drum and let out everything, it began to pour with rain. It was an extremely moving experience. Most of all, I would say my clients inspire me. I am continuously learning from them.
What does spirituality mean to you?
For me, spirituality can be a way of being, a way of existing in the world. It is a profound connection that I wish I could fully articulate.
Most useful piece of advice for a student or newly qualified therapist
Learning is a lifelong journey; it is OK to go at your own pace. Taking time to rest and take care of ourselves is essential. We can’t pour from an empty cauldron.
Do you have a favourite quote?
'You know I’ve always wanted a child. Now I think I’ll have one… on toast!'
Winnifred Sanderson, Hocus Pocus.
'You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you think and smarter than you know.'
Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh.
Favourite counselling book?
Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy: mockingbird, by Dr Dwight Turner.
The Person-Centred Counselling Primer, by Pete Sanders.
Favourite podcast or website?
Favourite piece of music?
I’ve sung in choirs for years, and my taste in music varies from classical to heavy metal to musical theatre. Currently, You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen is one my favourites.
Top tip for a successful supervision session
I find taking some time to reflect on what I need to bring to supervision helps me to prepare. Oh, and a glass of water!
What is the most important issue facing the counselling world today?
I think accessibility to counselling is one of the most important issues. Counselling can be very valuable for people, but they need to be able to access therapy that is suitable for them. Different modalities work for different people, and issues like cost or location are essential to consider too. As part of addressing that need, counselling training also needs to be more accessible.