About me

jillI am an Accredited Integrative Counsellor/Psychotherapist with over 10 years’ experience.  I offer a high quality, flexible and confidential service which people can access without fear of stigma and judgement. I adhere to the principles, aims and ethics of my profession and my professional body (the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).

I have worked in the NHS, Children’s Centres, the Voluntary Sector and private practice. I initially trained as a Registered Nurse, then worked as a Paediatric Nurse before training to be a Health Visitor and working as a Specialist Nurse for Safeguarding Children and Young People. As a health visitor, I developed a specific interest in Perinatal Mental Health and did further training in this field. Following completion of my Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling Practice in 2005 and my Master’s Degree in 2006, I worked as a counsellor in a Women’s Centre, a local voluntary counselling agency and in SureStart Children’s Centres. In 2006 I gained funding and set up  a counselling service in local Children’s Centres within ethical boundaries as defined by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

As an Integrative Therapist I am able to offer a variety of psychological therapies dependent on client need. Both brief and longer-term therapies are offered, with long-term person-centred work being available for those who have complex and enduring needs. Cognitive behavioural therapy is used either as a shorter intervention, if appropriate, or as part of longer-term work. In addition I use compassionate mind training, mindfulness and various strategies to reduce stress and emotional arousal. I have strong interests in neurobiology and attachment theory and how early experiences and relationships impact on our relationships as adults, our ability to parent and how we see ourselves in the world.

It is the therapeutic relationship and quality of relating with individuals that is the core of my work as a counsellor/psychotherapist. I aim to provide a safe space where individuals can be deeply heard, understood and valued. Under these conditions, clients can start to explore and understand themselves better, which in turn may provide insight into how they might make positive changes in their lives and improve emotional well-being.

I have worked with clients with a wide variety of issues including workplace stress, childhood abuse, loss, bereavement, eating disorders, alcohol and drug misuse, relationship issues, domestic abuse and others. People experiencing mental health issues such as depression, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, panic attacks, bi-polar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and who self-harm have accessed the service. Being employed in Children’s Centres also involved working with parents whose children had special needs, particularly those whose children were on the autistic spectrum or had attachment issues.

I see people of all age groups, from teenagers to older people. I usually work with clients on an individual basis but also offer group work when sufficient referrals allow.

Over the years, I advanced my knowledge and skills working with individuals suffering from perinatal illness including those affected by antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety, birth trauma, pregnancy loss (stillbirth, miscarriage) and bonding difficulties. I completed the Foundation Course in Infancy and Early years Mental Health at the prestigious Anna Freud Centre and have worked with mothers and infants together both in groups and as individuals. The purposes of the group work include enhancing and promoting attachment between mother and baby,  increasing parental understanding of babies’ emotional world and providing a safe, nurturing environment where participants are able to share thoughts, feelings and experiences. Additional aims include improving maternal mental health, promoting emotional well-being and reducing isolation. In these groups, mothers with perinatal mental illness, attend with their babies who are also seen as group members.

Therapy RoomIn addition, I have been very involved with the charity, Family Action, and the setting up of a Perinatal Support Project. This is now being commissioned on a national level. I was part of the original steering group and provided consultation and supervision for the original Project Co-ordinator. I was also responsible for training staff and  volunteers involved in the project.

I am committed to ongoing professional development and attend regular training courses, workshops and conferences.

Professional training includes :

  • Relationship support

  • Trauma and the Body: Somatisation and Dissociation

  • Working with Relational Trauma: Dealing with Disorganised Attachment

  • Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

  • Introduction to Infant and Early Years Infant Health

  • The Developing Infant, the Couple and the Family: Understanding Relationships within a Social and Cultural Context

  • Understanding and Assessing Risk and Resilience

  • Parent-Infant and Systemic Observation Skills

  • The Principles and Practice of Psychoanalytic Parent -Infant Psychotherapy

  • Babies in Mind: Why the Parent’s Mind Matters

  • Using Groups to Strengthen Parent Infant Relationships

  • Working with Motivational Interviewing

  • Working with Anger Issues

  • Working with Substance Misuse

  • Working with Alcohol Problems

  • Working with Eating Disorders

  • Working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Self- Harm

  • Introductory Lectures Institute of Psychoanalysis