Many people who get in touch with me have already found NHS Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) ineffective for their needs. This is because CBT encourages people to think their way out of emotional distress.... without looking at what might have happened to cause that distress in the first place. Some clients have also been prescribed anti-depressants to cope with life experiences or labelled with a "disorder" to help explain what they are going through.... This can sometimes bring a sense of relief to those who have grown tired of trying to explain to others how they feel - but it can also define people.... The sharp increase in prescription drugs since the 1980s on the back of a non-medical behavioural diagnosis is also worrying in light of side and long-term effects many people are unaware of.
Although prescription drugs may help people cope with overwhelming feelings.... they will not help anyone understand, manage or overcome cause(s) of anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship difficulties or anything else. This is because the vast majority of emotional and behavioural reactions are rooted in life experiences which affect us all in different ways. Similarly, there is "no blood test, mouth swab, hair sample, biopsy, spinal tap, x-ray, brain imaging, or any other way to diagnose...." anyone with a disorder (Gunn & Potter, 2015).
Having survived the impact of complex trauma(s) myself many years ago, I became aware of my own reactions to situations, thoughts, feelings and behaviours.... and despite an academic journey, will always maintain that life experiences taught me far more than years of psycho-social study. Nevertheless, I graduated with a BSc. (double) Honours Degree in 2006 and soon afterwards, completed additional counselling training while working as a Personal Coach in an alternative secondary educational provision for young people with emotional / developmental difficulties.... who were considered too challenging for mainstream education for one reason or another.
Over the years, my career diversified into working extensively with adults experiencing emotional difficulties and psychological trauma as well.... including recovery from narcissistic and domestic abuse, anger management, anxiety, conflict resolution and so on. I also undertook formal teaching and IQA Assessor training along the way.... going on to provide Internal Quality Assurance for the North Essex Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy some years later.
I eventually initiated private practice in 2015 - alongside a move into teaching and assessing accredited qualifications in Counselling Skills for ACL, Essex. The N E Essex Psychologies (N.E.E.P.) Training Centre was founded shortly afterwards and I have continued teaching, alongside running a private practice ever since. For the past four years, I have also been an Independent Clinician within the Transforming Care Programme - in liaison with Essex County Council and NHS England and am now in the final year of a Masters Degree in Mental Health Science.
Some of my own learners have progressed onto Degree or HE Diploma courses themselves (including, but not limited to Counselling) after successfully completing their Level 3 Diploma, while others have used the qualification to progress within the workplace. Some have enrolled with me after being out of education for some time and others have enrolled purely because they find the subject matter interesting and relevant. There is no one-size-fits-all and anyone is welcome to apply.
I have been registered with Counselling Ltd UK for over 14 years and am an accredited member of APA (Ayanay Psychological Accreditation); a rapidly expanding professional membership organisation for Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Mental Health professionals and Coaches; where life and work experiences are valued in conjunction with academic qualifications and training.
For more information on accredited training courses in Counselling Skills including how to apply, please click the link below.
** Borderline Personality Disorder - New Perspectives on a Stigmatizing and Overused Diagnosis
- Jacqueline Simon Gunn & Brent Potter (2015).
"You can conquer almost any fear
if you will only make up your mind to do so.
For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere
except in the mind."