Having been born the youngest of eleven children, eight brothers and three sisters, I was given two important skills that inform my practice as counsellor and coach: firstly the ability, born out of necessity, to observe others, and secondly the resilience and the knowledge that I could survive and did survive. This has been both useful and essential to me during times when I have felt a loss of direction or when I have been overwhelmed in my own life.  
Very often the experience of feeling overwhelmed or lost has been accompanied by, what I would describe, as an experience of ‘awakening’,  followed by change and transformation.  I am reminded of a quotation from Anthony De Mello:  “Many of us are born asleep, live asleep, marry in our sleep, breed children in our sleep, die in our sleep without ever waking up.”  One of my greatest times of ‘awakening’ came at a time of deep grief and loss, the death of my eldest sister. Death came to me to wake me from my sleep.  It was a time of awakening to deeper questions, re-evaluations of my life and what I now wanted, indeed needed, for the next phase of my journey without her physical presence.
If you are reading this it just might be that your journey has now brought you to a place called “awakening”- a place in your journey where you feel a need, which you can no longer ignore, to question, to re-evaluate to transform.  This may come for you in the form of a life threatening illness, loss of a significant relationship, retirement or perhaps just a deep sense that your life’s work no longer satisfies.  The experience of ‘awakening’ brings an awareness that your relationship with yourself, with others, with others in your work or your work itself, is not giving you what you need for a more authentic expression of your gifts, talents or your passions. Perhaps it might be what you have always known to be a potential within you but you have never had the courage to live or choose.
My passion, born of my own life and seventeen years of professional experience as counsellor and coach, is working with others to enable them to listen to their inner voice that speaks when our ‘awakening’ moment comes.  A voice that can be both terrifying, disturbing and yet full of potential.   Sometimes, on our journey, we need the companionship and support of another to help us to tune into that voice and begin the search and explore the possibilities that it might be speaking to us.  My work is to support you in your search for new directions that have the potential to bring change in your life.  A life that will more fully give expression to who you really are, your authentic or true self.   This can mean change in our thinking as well as our life choices.  It can mean a change in the direction of our journey with ourselves, with others and with our work.
During my training as a counsellor I was profoundly affected by the approach taken by one of my trainers.  While we were all working hard developing and honing our professional skills such as listening, providing empathy, being non-judgemental etc... she impressed upon us that while as professional counsellors learning and knowing such skills are essential to providing the best standard of practice which all of our clients deserve there was one more essential quality even more essential than learning such skills and that was bringing who we are which is in essence our presence to our clients.  That is why I wanted to write these few lines to give you an insight into who I am and how I undertake this rewarding work with my clients.
What I bring to my work as counsellor and coach is a passionate belief in our ability to bring change in our lives even out of the ashes of despair, be that in our relationship to ourselves, to others and to our work, whether that be artist, CEO, retail assistant, poet or manager.

"Most people are born in their sleep, fall in love in their sleep, give birth in their sleep and die in their sleep" - Anthony De Mello

"The unexamined life, is a life not worth living" - Socrates

​We are born with a birthright - that birthright is to live lives which express who we truly are. Lives where we feel that we are growing towards achieving our potential. Lives that express our gifts and our talents. Lives where our relationships with ourselves, others, work and with our world, bring us joy, love and satisfaction. Lives where we are able to manage, change and overcome challenges creatively and with resilience.

'We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"

T.S. Elliot: 'Little Gidding' 

The Online
Dis-inhibition Effect

It's well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn't ordinarily say or do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves more openly. Researchers call this the "disinhibition effect." It's a double-edged sword. Sometimes people share very personal things about themselves. They reveal secret emotions, fears, wishes. Or they show unusual acts of kindness and generosity. We may call this benign disinhibition.
On the other hand, the disinhibition effect may not be so benign. Out spills rude language and harsh criticisms, anger, hatred, even threats. Or people explore the dark underworld of the internet, places of pornography and violence, places they would never visit in the real world. We might call this toxic disinhibition.
On the benign side, the disinhibition indicates an attempt to understand and explore oneself, to work through problems and find new ways of being. And sometimes, in toxic disinhibition, it is simply a blind catharsis, an acting out of unsavory needs and wishes without any personal growth at all.

What causes this online disinhibition? What is it about cyberspace that loosens the psychological barriers that block the release of these inner feelings and needs? Several factors are at play. For some people, one or two of them produces the lion's share of the disinhibition effect. In most cases, though, these factors interact with each other, supplement each other, resulting in a more complex, amplified effect.

Our Deepest Fear

​“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

A Return to Love - Marianne Williamson

(Used by Nelson Mandela at his Presidential Inauguration)

What is "The Empty Raincoat"?​

There is an open-air sculpture garden in Minneapolis by Judith Shea called 'Without Words'.  One is of a bronze raincoat, empty, with no one inside.  " To me, that empty raincoat is the symbor of our most pressing paradoxes.  We were not destined to be empty raincoats, namelss numbers on a payroll, role occupants, the raw material of economice or sociology, statistice in some government report.  If that is to be its price, then economic progress if an empty promise.  There must be more to lofe than to be a cog in someone else's great macking, hurling God knows where.  The challenge must be to prove that the paradox can be managed and that we, each one of us can fill that empty raincoat."  The Empty Raincoat', Charles Handy