About Me

Andy Marr

I started out as an engineer. After 30 years in aviation, having become a manager, I decided to leave the industry and change career. From working voluntarily over the years, I knew that what I really enjoyed was working with people.

In 2010, while living in London, I took up work as a volunteer counsellor, studying counselling and psychotherapy in the evenings. I spent the following years working for third sector organisations in management roles, whilst continuing to work as a counsellor, befriender or group facilitator in my spare time, in areas such as addiction, bereavement, substance misuse and homelessness.

In 2015, sponsored by a Cypriot charity, I travelled to Greece to contribute to the humanitarian effort supporting the huge influx of refugees fleeing the Middle East. After spells at other camps, I ended up at the refugee transit camp on the border with Macedonia and worked there for the next 6 months, until the border was finally closed. That experience allowed me to witness at first hand the effects of mental and physical trauma, and to talk to and listen to those affected.

As a manager in aviation, I frequently suffered from stress, which led to anxiety, insomnia, chronic back pain and gastrointestinal problems. Leaving industry helped to a certain extent, but not entirely. Even when I trained and took up work as a personal trainer, an ambition I had harboured for years, and despite really enjoying the work, I still struggled with my health. I ran up against new stressors- like running my own business in London, finding clients and making ends meet financially.

What eventually worked for me was experiencing CBT as a client and working on my own breathing.

Like most therapists, I have studied and practiced other methods. I firmly believe in a person-centred approach for instance and there are techniques apart from CBT that I know are very good for trauma, but I found CBT to be particularly effective for all conditions involving anxiety. I also discovered that certain specific breathing exercises can help a lot.

Today, I draw on my ever-expanding knowledge of breathing (it is actually a huge subject) and my experience as a counsellor and CBT therapist to offer people a way through their problems. Everyone has an innate need to talk and be listened to. I try to offer people a safe space to do that. I am thankful for the opportunity of being able to help them and to offer something potentially life-changing. There is nothing more satisfying than being a witness to that when it happens.

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