Discovering psychotherapy, discovering spirituality
In my early twenties, I discovered the world of psychotherapy; a lifelong interest quickly ignited.
Soon after, following my first experiences of essence or being, I also recognised the importance of attending to soul.
Back then, these two worlds - psychotherapy and spiritual practice - mostly kept themselves separate from one another.
On the whole, things have not changed since then.
But it is worth remembering that psychotherapy did not start with this separation in place.
Sigmund Freud used the word 'soul' (Seele in German) throughout his writings, but his term very rarely made it directly into our English translations.
He was referring to the whole of a person's being, which was his passionate concern and interest, but his word Seele - soul - was almost always replaced by his English translators with the word "mind".
Fortunately, the places where I learned about this inner work were already bringing these seemingly-separate disciplines back together, and I have now been involved in the worlds of psychotherapy and of attending to soul for more than thirty years.
Training, qualifications and experience
I hold an Masters degree in Core Process psychotherapy, which is a body-centred psycho-spiritual psychotherapy, and I am accredited by the UKCP, the main national organisation that registers psychotherapists in this country.
I am also a student of the work of Hameed Ali (who writes using the pen name A H Almaas). His work, the Diamond Approach, does not separate psychological and spiritual experience, and therefore sees no dichotomy between depth psychology and spiritual work.
I have also completed counselling qualifications (1998), a one-year foundation training in psychoanalytic group psychotherapy with the Institute of Group Analysis (1999-2000), and an introductory family therapy training (2008).
In addition, I have a great deal of experience with other approaches, particularly Reich's body and breath work, the work of FM Alexander (the Alexander Technique), meditation and awareness practices, and dance & movement work.
I have worked as a psychotherapist with groups and individuals in the NHS (2008-14); with a voluntary sector counselling service (2006-2010); and in private practice as a psychotherapist (since 2006, ongoing).
I have a great deal of experience working with men and women of all ages and from most backgrounds, both one-to-one and in groups.
I have worked with bricklayers and software engineers, van drivers and head teachers, removals men and lawyers, the retired and teenagers, trainee and practicing therapists and counsellors, and many others, and I have worked with many of the struggles and concerns, and the hopes and fears, that bring people to therapy.
Professional interests & learning
As much of my training and preparation for my work as a psychotherapist has taken place in Germany and The Netherlands as it has here in the United Kingdom.
There have been many significant developments in psychotherapy over the last twenty or thirty years, and I have been fortunate to have been exposed to some of these, including:
Though it has been developing slowly since the days of Freud & Jung, Reich & Assagioli, a rich, grounded and well-balanced western approach to understanding and healing the soul or psyche, rooted in the insights and contributions of both West and East, has now emerged, and is available to all.