1992 was the beginning of an interesting and varied pathway of Counselling and Psychotherapy training, which continues to this present moment. As a young person I had been troubled with demons of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth. Post-natal depression and an unbelievably uncomfortable experience of counselling helped me to decide in later years to train as a counsellor myself. Starting with listening and counselling skills, I went on to train in Integrative Models in Cheltenham, Psychosynthesis in London, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Clinical Supervision, Coaching/Training and Mindfulness.
At the end of 2002, I was fortunate enough to secure a contract with Gloucestershire County Council and through Supporting People specialising in Housing Related Support and Substance Misuse for those suffering from addiction and mental health problems. However, it was a brief training in “Mindfulness for Counsellors” in 2007 that I established a personal practice of meditation. By 2013 and working for a substance misuse charity as a countywide manager, I became aware just how beneficial Mindfulness was proving to be, not only personally, but the remarkable evidence of recovery enjoyed by many of the Peer Mentors I was working with and who were receiving Mindfulness Training as part of a recovery programme.
A CQC Care Quality Commission Report was carried out on the charitable service 2016 and I was proud to receive the following appraisal of my work:
‘The service operated a peer mentor scheme to provide the opportunity for former clients to give extra support to existing clients. This provided the volunteers with training and experience working within drug and alcohol services that potentially led to employment opportunities for them. The standard of support given to the peer mentors by the service was of a very high standard. This enabled peer mentors to progress through the training programme and provide invaluable support to clients from people who had experienced substance misuse services.’
By the end of 2016 the charity lost the public health contract and my role was redundant. So, before retirement beckons, I decided to start all over again, using transferable skills and a whole heap of knowledge and life experience, returning to Private Practice and new challenges and opportunities in life.
During the last 2 years I have dedicated my time to study with the Mindful Academy in Denia, volunteering at Oxford Mindfulness Centre and working to help others in the community to learn the art of Mindfulness on a one to one basis, through groups, courses and workshops in the workplace and public domain to promote positive Mental Health and Well Being.