My adult life has never been without drama. I very much enjoyed my twenties; I lived life to the full and created some great memories. I was never really maternal but always ‘assumed’ I would have children of my own. At the age of 26 I looked around and noticed that all of my friends were married and had babies and that was when I thought perhaps it was time to ‘grow up’ a little. I met and married my first husband very quickly. I became an instant full time step-mom and very quickly had my first child. My marriage was not a happy one. My husband was extremely controlling and jealous and without really knowing it I had stopped seeing everyone who was important to me. I considered leaving my marriage shortly after I had my first son but I could never quite find the courage to do so. All of my confidence that I once had, had disappeared. We went onto to have another baby as I hoped this would make me feel better. We were blessed with healthy identical twin boys and all of a sudden my life became very busy! From not being maternal, I was now a working mom to four boys. I didn’t really have much time to think so the marriage continued on. When the twins were 18 months old, I noticed that they had started to look different. Ethan had also gone off his food and was tired a lot of time. Despite several trips to the GP he didn’t get better, in fact he became worse. Maternal instinct told me that my baby wasn’t well so my husband took him to the hospital. Within 24 hours of that admission the life that I once knew came crashing down as I was told my son had Leukaemia. It was very advanced so needed immediate treatment. The chemotherapy treatment programme was going to take 3 years. Whilst we were just getting our heads around that we were told that because the twins were identical there was a huge chance that Kai would get it as well. He was tested but thankfully nothing was found. The first year was very intense. Most of the first year was spent in hospital undergoing severe chemotherapy. The second devastation came when just short of a year of Ethans diagnosis, Kai tested positive for Leukemic cells. Because they were identical Kai then had to start on exactly the same journey as Ethan, chemotherapy for 3 years. Here I was, 33 years of age, 2 children with cancer, separated from my other 2 children, an awful marriage, no job with no certainty that everything was going to be ok. It was during this time that I knew I had to refocus. The things that I thought mattered, didn’t anymore. I needed to find strength and resilience from somewhere to be able to cope. That’s when I discovered counselling and my own journey began. Fast forward 14 years on, my twins are now handsome and healthy young men and my eldest son is a trained soldier in the British Army. It took me 5 more years after Ethan’s diagnosis to finally leave my husband but leave I did. I am now married to a wonderful man who alongside my boys is my biggest supporter.
My journey played such a huge part of what I wanted to do regarding my career. I love everything about counselling, how it helped me during my difficult times, learning to look and think differently, learning how to listen to yourself and others. My attitude to wanting to be the best version of myself, to do a job that really mattered and made difference to others, all of this became my driver in wanting to become a qualified counsellor and the fact that I now have my own private practice is something that I still have to pinch myself about.
We each have our own internal battles; this is something that we all try to overcome. I ask myself if I am good enough, do I know enough, am I liked… My answer to those questions is yes because I am now at a place where I have accepted and feel happy within myself.
My passion is living life to the full! I love to travel and see and learn about different places and meet new people. If Covid has taught me anything, it is I need people! I also love to read, if it’s a good book I won’t be putting it down until I get to the end.
I love what this forum represents, this is a great platform to be a part of for any successful businesswoman. Women should empower other women whenever the opportunity comes along. To be able to share everything we have and everything we know in order for us all to grow is hugely important. Sharing is caring, learning to do things together is just as important as learning to do it for ourselves.
What I Offer
I am a fully qualified integrative therapeutic counsellor who offers face to face, online and telephone counselling. I offer both short and long term individual sessions. I have been trained in person centred therapy but am able to combine learnt skills and tools from different counselling approaches which in turn help my clients to explore and express their thoughts, feelings and emotions with the hope of creating a better understanding of self.
I have always been drawn to helping and supporting individuals. Counselling is something that I thought about for many years and whilst it has taken me a while to get where I needed to be, I persevered until I finally qualified. I very much enjoy the process of therapy, from first meeting a client who can feel lost, then to walk alongside them through their journey until they recognise that they are mentally strong enough to be able to continue on their own. There is no greater sense of satisfaction than hearing a client say ‘I don’t need therapy anymore, I can do this on my own’.
Issues that clients present with can be bereavement, loss, anxiety, depression, self-harm, phobias, serious illness, disability, isolation, loneliness, physical abuse, emotional abuse and relationship difficulties. Each issue can feel overwhelming but with the regular intervention of therapy, clients are able to feel empowered which in turn enables them to get a better understanding of how they want to live their life.
My specialist areas include substance misuse and addictions, bereavement and loss, long term illness, palliative care, anxiety, depression and trauma.
I have gained extensive experience in working with children and adults in a variety of different learning environments. This has given me a wealth of knowledge and has enabled me to support anyone from the ages of 16+ years. I am currently undertaking further studies which will enable me to expand my practice in being able to work with children from ages 7 and above.