My Professional Experience and Qualifications
In 1980, I joined the Civil Service and initially worked in a variety of posts that were quite technical in nature. After 14 years, I decided my work was too computer based and that I really wanted to work more directly with people. Coincidentally, at around this time, I noticed the department were advertising for in-house Welfare Officers. This role really appealed to me, as it involved working with serving and retired staff and supporting them, within an organisational context, with a wide range of both professional and personal problems. It also involved offering contracted counselling.
The training I received in this role, was very intensive and focused on developing my skills as a Welfare Officer. This role was particularly complex as it involved balancing the needs of the individual who had come for support, whilst being mindful of Departmental requirements, rules and regulations. As part of my training I also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling at the University of Bristol. Around this time, I was also volunteering as a Bereavement Counsellor with Cruse Bereavement Care, and after a few years completed counselling supervisor training also with Cruse.
I have always been interested in spirituality, and became curious about how people expressed their spiritual nature when they were receiving counselling. I wanted to find out more and decided to increase my knowledge in this area, by embarking on a research project, my dissertation was entitled 'The Experience of Spirituality in the Counselling Room'. On completion of this project, I graduated in 2011 with a MSc in Counselling from the University of Bristol.
Early in 2011, and after 30 years, I left the Civil Service and I began to develop my counselling and supervision practice at Acorn Counselling in Nailsworth. In the Autumn of 2015 I moved my practice to my lovely studio in the garden of my home in Abbeydale.