Therapist, coach, teacher, working class academic, cat wrangler, poetry lover, optimist. Proud citizen of the London Borough of Brent. Doctorate in counselling studies.
Nobody’s perfect – the work is to do the best with what you’ve got, to have the best life you can.
I was born in Harlesden, NW London, and grew up in Willesden Green. I first came to Norwich in 1986 to study English at UEA and have been returning ever since⏤the force is strong at UEA! Teacher training (Cambridge, 1990), an MA (Sussex, 1991) and PhD in literature (Dundee, 2000) followed⏤as did a variety of teaching jobs in HE, FE, adult education and Schools. I started my counselling career in 2004 with an evening class in person-centred counselling skills, chosen fairly randomly as something to do when I was working in Norwich for part of the week at a time when I was still living in London. I loved it. I often say that therapy is a hobby that got out of hand⏤it started with an evening class and ended with a second PhD. I began coaching as a result of doing my ‘day job’ as the senior academic developer at UEA and I have found it to be a good complement to my therapy work⏤although different in style.
My passion is working with people to help them achieve better relationships with themselves and the world around them. I have particular experience of working with the following:
- Imposter syndrome and self-esteem
- Successfully completing large projects
- Navigating change
- Achieving a work/life balance
- Understanding neurodivergence
I also have experience of delivering training and consultancy in these areas:
- Anti-racism and allyship
- Coaching and mentoring training and CPD
- Listening skills
- Emotional Intelligence
My research focusses on the relationship between creative writing and mental health: not only the therapeutic benefits of writing expressively, but also how our interactions with language influence and in many ways create our experience the world. As part of this work I often run hands-on writing and expressive arts groups⏤but also do textual research which draws on my training in literary criticism. As an example of my cross-disciplinary research in criticism/therapy, I have a book chapter in 2021 (‘Writing at the Edge’ in Senses of Focusing, Eurasia 2021) which discusses Emily Dickinson in context of the work of Eugene T. Gendlin. See my blog for more on my research activities.
PhD in Counselling Studies Poetry/Therapy (2020, University of East Anglia)
EMCC Coach Practitioner Qualification (2019, TPC)
Primary Certificate in Coaching Supervision (2018, British Psychological Society)
PhD American Literature The Poetry of Ted Berrigan (2000, University of Dundee)
BSc in Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counselling (2010, Middlesex)
Current Affiliation and Roles
(2022-Present) Lecturer and MA Course Director, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, Norwich UK