I started out as an engineer and spent 30 years in the aviation industry. I ended up living and working in London. From working voluntarily over the years, however, I knew that what I really enjoyed was working with people.
During my years in London I worked as a volunteer counsellor, studying counselling and psychotherapy in the evenings. After leaving aviation, I spent the following years working for third sector organisations in management roles, whilst continuing to work as a counsellor and group facilitator in my spare time, in areas such as addiction, bereavement, substance misuse and homelessness. After taking a year out to work in refugee camps in Greece during the refugee crisis of 2015, I made the decision to return to Scotland for good, to complete my diploma in CBT, and to finally qualify and start my own practice.
As a manager in aviation, I frequently suffered from stress, which led to anxiety, insomnia, gut problems and chronic back pain. Leaving that 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, despite really enjoying the work I still struggled with my health. I came up against new stressors- like running my own business in London, finding clients and making ends meet financially.
What eventually worked for me, and helped inspire me towards my future career, 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 and I am increasingly interested in other techniques, particularly metacognitive therapy. I have found both to be particularly effective for all conditions involving anxiety. I also discovered that certain specific breathing exercises can help a great deal.
Today, I draw on my knowledge and experience as a counsellor, therapist and breathing trainer to offer people a way through their problems. Everyone has a need to talk and be listened to and 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.