Bio: Who I Am
I have been counselling since the early 80’s. Although human suffering is a painful reality, I also experience great joy in working with people and becoming a small part of each individual's journey.
I had a private practice in counselling therapy in Victoria from 1982 to 1998.
My early counselling work was in combating sexual violence against women and at a centre for complementary medicine, in Victoria, BC. In the mid-eighties I developed a private practice and worked full time until, in the late nineties, I developed a chronic illness. For some years I took a period of time to be more inward—a time of further healing and growth. I moved to Salt Spring Island in 1999. In 2013, I resumed my work as a psychotherapist.
Training and Qualifications
I graduated from London University, UK with a BA, followed by an MA in Counselling Psychology (1983) from the University of Victoria. I am a registered member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC #285).
Further to academic training, I pursued a 9 year training program in a body-mind-emotions therapeutic approach called Bioenergetic Analysis, a forerunner of the many somatic therapies developed in recent decades. I am also a long-time student and practitioner of mindfulness meditation.
To be an effective counsellor requires me to know myself and to have worked with my own issues, so that I can attend fully to my clients. I have undertaken many years of my own therapy. I understand what it feels like to be the client. My commitment to study and training in life is an ongoing part of who I am as a therapist.
I was raised and educated in the UK and emigrated to Canada as a young adult. My early twenties coincided with the second wave of feminism. The internal conflicts of the women’s movement focused me on how our communications and psychology can support or undermine the change-work we are trying to bring about. I discovered the many dysfunctional aspects of my own upbringing and the myriad ways those social and interpersonal dysfunctions affected my confidence, my underlying beliefs, my sexual orientation and my gender expression. I undertook many years of therapy and training and began a life-long commitment to healing, in myself and, once I had trained, for my clients. Later, I explored Buddhist thought and discovered a world of understanding that further deepened my path as a human being.
I have not dropped my politics. I am keenly committed to structural and societal change.
I believe we all find different ways to support this world to heal and no one way is intrinsically superior or inferior to another. It is my commitment to clarifying the wounds of the psyche that I hope will help our world’s wounds heal more readily, even if the ripple effect fans out in small or slow ways.
I live on Salt Spring Island with my partner, who is a naturalist. I am also a poet and passionate about nature and very grateful to live in this thriving and active community of Salt Spring Island.