Bio: Who I Am
Although people usually bring painful life experiences to therapy, I experience great joy in my work and in taking some part in each individual's journey.
I had a private practice in counselling therapy in Victoria from 1982 to 1998.
Before training to become a professional counsellor, my early counselling experiences in the seventies were in combatting sexual violence against women.
After graduating with a Masters in 1983, I worked at a centre for complementary medicine, in Victoria, BC, and continued my anti-violence focus. In the mid-eighties I developed a private practice and worked full-time until, in the late nineties, I developed a chronic illness. My partner and I moved to Saltspring Island in 1999. For some years I took a period of time to focus on my health and to be more inward. In 2012, 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 could support or undermine the change-work we were trying to bring about. I came to realize there were many dysfunctional aspects in my own upbringing and began to comprehend how the social, class and interpersonal context of my life had affected my confidence, beliefs about myself, 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, and to understanding individuals in the broad framework of their racial, cultural, class and other contexts.
I believe we all find different ways to support this world to heal and no one way is intrinsically superior or inferior to another. I believe in the power of the psyche to heal, if, like a plant, we give it the conditions it needs, like water and light. I believe human consciousness (the psyche) is much greater than we realize in our everyday life. I am committed to supporting the healing journey of my clients and I hope the ripple effect may fan out into the world.
I live on Saltspring Island with my partner, who is a naturalist. I am also a poet and passionate about nature and grateful to live in this thriving and active community of Saltspring Island.