I have been working as a counsellor and psychotherapist in Edinburgh since 1996. I have extensive experience in offering therapy to individuals, and in facilitating therapeutic groups. People who engage in therapy with me experience reduced levels of distress and an enhanced capacity to live their lives as a result of the work we do together.
I work in ways which are respectful and collaborative.
Therapy is concerned with our relationship to the world, and our relationship to ourselves. I can work alongside you to help navigate a difficult patch in your life, or to seek to resolve a long-term or even life-long issue or issues.
This may involve coming to terms with a painful family history, a search for meaning and direction, or exploring how to be in relationship with another and yet still be your own person. It may mean starting to look carefully and compassionately at buried trauma, or learning how to believe in yourself and your perceptions; in your own sense of what is right for you.
Our work together may also involve seeking to understand and ameliorate the impact of painful personal patterns: a tendency to depression for example, or ongoing difficulties with anxiety. Many of us develop an inner critical voice which attacks and undermines us, in which case our work together would involve learning approaches towards stilling this voice.
In all my work, I am aware that the body and the mind are inextricably interconnected. Anxiety, for example, isn’t just a psychological experience, but can include a fast beating heart, a churning stomach, and/or other symptoms. Where appropriate, my approach to therapy includes psychoeducation about how the brain and body respond physiologically to stressors, and body-based exercises designed to reduce the impact of such symptoms.
As a result of the work we do together, you will find increased self-knowledge and self-acceptance. You may also access the clarity to find and speak whatever is true for you.
I am very aware that it takes courage to approach a therapist, and to discuss deeply personal matters with another human being, even if that person is professionally trained. Whatever the issues you bring, I undertake to work with you to the best of my ability in a non-judgmental and compassionate manner.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. The Register is the first psychological therapists' register to be accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, which is accountable to the UK Parliament.
I am also an accredited member of BACP. In the words of the BACP website, accreditation represents a `higher level of quality assurance' than that afforded by the Register, and is designed to `enable clients, employees and colleagues to recognise proven, competent practitioners.'
Originally a biologist, I retrained in Gestalt psychotherapy with the Gestalt Trust Scotland (GTS) between 1992 and 1996. Gestalt forms the basis of the work I do with people today, summed up in the phrase `I and Thou, Here and Now’, attributed to the German philosopher Martin Buber. This phrase encapsulates the life-changing and life-affirming possibilities inherent in the respectful meeting between two or more people, in contact with one another in the present moment.
Once I started working as a therapist, I came to understand, both personally and professionally, the primary significance of our family background in determining the person we become. Our lives are affected by events which impact on our family of origin, and by the choices and actions adopted by our parents, grandparents and ourselves in response to circumstances. Family Constellations therapy recognises the deep love and loyalty which exists between family members, often out of our awareness, and the difficulties which can arise as a result of this love. It provides a lens to examine issues related to our family background, and an approach towards resolving issues and difficulties rooted in family history. I trained in Family Constellations therapy with the Hellinger Institute of Britain in 2002-3, and continue to attend workshops and training events to this day.
I also came to understand the ubiquity of trauma. Most of us have experienced trauma at some point in our lives. The heritage of trauma can be felt and seen as conditioned responses, often non-adaptive, which arise when we face difficult situations: for example high levels of fear in social situations, or the desire to lash out at the first sign of conflict. We feel as if we are not in control of our own reactions. Traumatic responses are rooted in the body and may not always be accessible to traditional talking therapies. I trained in Sensorimotor therapy in 2011-12 because it provides non-intrusive body based approaches towards dealing with the impact of traumatic experiences. I have also attended other workshops and seminars on working with trauma and am a member of Trauma Training in Scotland.
I have worked as a counsellor for seventeen years in private practice and in several Edinburgh counselling agencies. I have also worked as as trainer on a counselling Diploma course, as a workplace counsellor, and as the manager of a national telephone counselling service. I facilitate a long-term personal and professional development group for counsellors. I am passionate about psychotherapy, and have undertaken a lot of personal therapy in the past, as well as continuing to update my skills and understanding through reading, seminars and workshops.
I am married and live in Edinburgh with my wife and two children.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
I charge £80 per session. If you need to cancel a session, we will try to reschedule within five working days. If the appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, then half the fee is payable.