I have been working in the ‘caring professions’ since the 1980’s when I qualified as a social worker. I completed an ‘Applied Social Work’ Course at Manchester University in 1991. I worked with adults, young people and children experiencing a variety of challenges including mental health, learning difficulties, child protection, parenting issues, and youth justice.
Once I had my own family and my own two daughters I worked as an Education Social Worker with a focus on school attendance issues, emotional and behavioural difficulties, and the challenges of parenting. I trained in Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Parent Training and the Nurture Groups training course at Cambridge University. I also qualified as a Social Work Practice Teacher. In working directly with children and searching for child-friendly worksheets and stories etc I came across CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and completed a certificate-level course to start with.
In 2001 I went to work for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). Throughout this time I continued training in CBT to Masters level (MSc) and then achieved Accreditation with the BABCP (The professional body for CBT). I also had opportunities to train in the PATHS Curriculum, The Incredible Years parent training programme, Narrative Therapy (L1), RICAP (a short Psychotherapy intervention with Children and their parents) and took part in Regional and National Research Studies. I am also a qualified Clinical Supervisor having completed a postgraduate certificate in Clinical Supervision with Manchester University.
In 2011 my life changed when I trained in EMDR with Dr Michael Patterson, OBE, PhD. This training brought all my previous training, interests in the human conditions, understanding of systems (family, Political, Societal etc), human psychology and suffering together into this rich and intelligent therapy. I became accredited in EMDR in 2014 with EMDR UK & Ireland and have completed many related trainings over the years, including Child Training (L1) and using storytelling with children and young people. I have completed training with Ana Gomez from the USA, who specialises in working with children. I am also trained in AF-EMDR (Attachment-Focused EMDR) with the Parnell Institute in EMDR with Laurel Parnell PhD. I am an active member of the attachment-informed EMDR network in the UK. In 2020 I achieved Accreditation as an EMDR Supervisor/Consultant. After working with the Early Intervention (for first-episode psychosis) and also in adult IAPT services (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) I returned to CAMHS in 2016 to set up the Wirral Eating Disorders team. I now work part-time as the Trauma Clinical Lead for the Child, Adolescent and Family Care Group with the NHS Trust and part-time in my Private Practice.
Many, many EMDR Practitioners proclaim that training in EMDR was life-changing for them. This is also true for me, yet so hard to explain! We are becoming more aware of our neurobiology and how distressing events in our lives, childhoods and perhaps our experiences of being parented from say, outright abuse to the more subtle stresses at home and lack of attunement from our parents can become held by the body, mind and brain in its raw, unprocessed forms (sometimes below our level of consciousness). This means we can begin to understand how everyday events or triggers can cause us distress and disturbance. EMDR can help to process the events that laid the groundwork for this reaction and with our own ‘adaptive information processing system’ can work this out to a more adaptive resolution and a healthier life going forward. Having started my own journey of Psychotherapy as a client some years ago, I can attest to this! For more information on how EMDR works see here.
“The past affects the present even without our being aware of it.”
― Francine Shapiro
Thank you to Dr Francine Shapiro, Psychologist, (born 1948 died 2019) for the gift of EMDR.
My Qualifications and Registrations:
CBT: MSc in the Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies (CBT) and accredited with BABCP.
EMDR: EMDR training and accredited with EMDR Europe
EMDR: G-TEP, R-TEP and R-TEP-RISC
EMDR: Child Level 1
AF-EMDR (Attachment-Focused EMDR) Level 1 & 2
PG Certificate in Supervision Skills for Mental Health Professionals
Registered with Social Work England
MBABCP; MEMDR UK & Ireland