I feel hugely privileged to have had the opportunity to carry out my specialist year as school counsellor, as a direct result, I am proud to expertly offer a neuro-diverse approach. A decision influenced by my own neruo-diversity, I struggled immensely within the school environment and commitment to respectfully provide inclusive therapy accessible to all, mirroring individual need, age or developmental stage.
I hold 20 years of experience, working with children and young people delivering informal education, starting as a volunteer. On achieving a degree in Youth & Community Studies I secured my first manager's post, gaining responsibility numerous projects, including health and well-being. Always, importantly prioritising connection, establishing and maintaining authentic communication and rapport.
Also, I worked as a mental health advocate, again starting as a volunteer, prior to gaining experience as Coordinator, managing the Mental Health Advocacy Service, in Chorley.
My inspiration for retraining as a therapist is significantly influenced by my early life experience, having lived with an ongoing feeling of impending doom, overwhelming anxiety. I experienced a high level of inferiority with equally low levels self esteem, it was on the floor and I was utterly clueless, at the time, esteem was even a thing! The feeling was familiar, I didn't know any different, I was stuck, entrapped by a pattern I wasn't consciously aware of. I experienced this by what I can only describe as a somatic experience of heavy or weighted and then the shutters came down, in a state of functional freeze by way of dissociation.
However, into early adulthood, and as varying experiences took me lower, something began to kick in, now a young mum, I felt an overwhelming need to break free, from this invisible yet evident brick wall, I kept hitting. Consciously, I wanted to be, needed to be a positive role model, for my young son. I craved an understanding of myself. I slowly, one step forward ten back, I, started to getting more and more curious. The self exploration process began.
I took courses, read books, not always easy with a specific learning difficulty. I too had counselling, hypnotherapy, Reiki and went to meditation classes. Over the years I connected to emotions I had previously worked so hard to ignore, repress and disassociate from.
But I began to listen to my internal narrative, I began to really hear the words, the statements, and names I said to myself, about myself. Then came the stark realisation, I was a bully, I bullied myself!
Recognising I was a bully, as I systematically put myself down, long before anyone else got a chance too, was hard, painful but necessary. After the thunder bolt of the initial shock, I was able to delve deeper, explore, understand, start the healing process, update my internal belief system, self esteem, self talk and move forward.
I remember being told at one of my earliest counselling courses, many years ago, as a very nervous student, you need to believe in the process. I also remember my dad saying, it is not where you start it is where you finish, self belief began to resonate, becoming increasingly more familiar. It took time and commitment to quash the deeply embedded feelings of shame; and I can now share, I got there!
My story is currently at place of authentic self belief and acceptance, as I look forward to forever growing, drawing from all of my experiences and learning more with each and every day.
I am as excited to hear your story, with gratitude, as you have kindly taken the time to read mine, as I am to share my own.
Pleased take my gift to you...
Take time, every day to stop and listen to the words you say to yourself about yourself, so to understand your self narrative the beliefs you hold about you.
And notice your breathing,...make a change...practice slow breathing...through your nose if you can...go on.. take a long slow breath and feel your diaphragm rise slowly... as it fills up with air...hold it... before exhaling, again slowly through your nose
Mindful breathing, innately how nature intended so to sooth your nervous system...connecting...giving yourself time to process... turning the stress dial down!...right down...all of the way down... notice of how you feel...notice your thoughts...continue to practice
And remember to talk to yourself as you would your best friend, someone you love; loving yourself, a gift to you from you, investing in your health and well-being