About me, my philosophy, assumptions and research.


To wish to be well is part of becoming well.
Seneca, 4 BC-65 AD, Roman Dramatist, Philosopher and Statesman.

It is only when both freedom and responsibility take root that their flowers will flourish.
Anthony Jackson (2009).


I have been awarded with a First Class (Hons) Bachelor of Science degree in Counselling which was subsequent to the highest awards in Intermediate and Counselling Certificates.

I have studied counselling since 2005 which has now allowed me to consider that a truth often lies in the paradox of opposites. For example, my initial plan over eight years ago - to help others - meant that I had to first help, find meaning and understand myself. This may seem absurd but is in fact very true. It is this that allowed me, not just in the therapy room but in life in general, to embrace, embody and experience a serenity, a peaceful and composed, joyous state of mind, body and spirit that is fueled by the notion of first to understand, rather than to be understood. Prior to empathetically understanding myself I was trapped in negative patterns that often become unmanageable.

I suggest that maybe this is also true for you. Like many, we can become so absorbed and overwhelmed by other's beliefs,values and opinions that their saturation can lead us to lose touch with ourselves. In accepting an invitation of another's discontent and adopting it as our own we can become confused and directionless.

If we are able to gain awareness, internal worth and have self authoritative moral principles then firm foundations can enable a debilitating dissonance or conflict within us to be reduced. It is then that a building of true personal development flourishes, in the absence of competition with others.




Life before becoming a therapist:

Prior to my vocation as a therapist I worked for a well known bank but have, paradoxically, spent much of my working life as a docker in Tilbury docks. I embarked on my journey as a therapist for a number of reasons but one was a vivid reality and comprehension that, at that time, 'hardened' stereotypical dockers wanted to share their very personal lives with me. And in this process they were able to overcome a real fear of discussing their feelings and appearing 'soft' and experience a genuine, trans-formative and recipricol connection with another.

From that time in 2003 my course in life changed and I began to help others and unconsciously, at that time, myself. I worked in the area of mental health and held meetings in different PCT areas around Essex and presented service user's experiences to the NHS at board level.

It was here that I helped promote, articulate and raise the NHS's awareness with regards to a necessity for individuals to talk about their experiences of having a diagnoses of mental illness. The NHS's ethos at that time did not practically embrace the concept of 'talking therapy' and relied predominately on the medical model or specifically with a reliance on medication. They now adopt a synthesis or combination of both medication and therapy, mainly by way of short timescale Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) to supposedly address the often chronic complexities of mental illness.



Research

I conducted a qualitative, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of participants diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1 DSM-IV-Text Rev (2000).

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