I grew up with a distrust of hierarchical, top down autocratic systems that seemed inherently self-interested. This belief was in part informed by a working class family environment that held socialist views, and led to an interest in the importance of the individual’s process. Jung’s maxim that “social and political change has to begin with the internal reality of the individual” spoke to me in terms of a recognition that real political and social change begins with each person learning to take responsibility for themselves, and from this learning how to be in relationship with others and the world they live within.
My process of self-understanding has continued through an on-going spiritual practice that allows me to know myself on deeper levels without the demands of established religious dogma. In turn my training as a counsellor within a person centred context reaffirmed the importance of the individual’s truth.
I have worked as a counsellor in private practice in North London and also in mental health setting within the voluntary sector for many years. Most recently I helped to develop and manage a mental health peer support service in Lambeth for individuals with lived experience to provide emotional support to people coming through the mental health system, especially to those individuals that had been detained under the mental health act in psychiatric units. This service affirmed my own beliefs that what is really healing for those experiencing mental health issues is the quality of relationship they have with someone who is willing to witness them in their common humanity.
I grew up in a family with a relative who suffered from severe and enduring mental health issues for much of her life, and didn’t receive any support until her mid-eighties. As such I feel passionately that holistic based services for those experiencing mental distress/health issues is a fundamental right. I have seen the provision of longer term counselling and psychotherapeutic services increasingly limited and replaced by services that for many people using them re-stigmatise, in that their common humanity is missed and once again feel objectified by a system that focuses on psychopathology and medication.
I believe that it is a fundamental right for anyone experiencing mental distress/mental health issues to have the opportunity to access affordable psychotherapy and counselling in order to re-connect to their own innate humanity and healing. As such I am happy to provide free and low cost counselling to clients as part of the free psychotherapy network, along with the low cost counselling service I offer as part of my private practice.
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org