A WORKING LIFE: 1965 -2016.
Born into a working class London family in the late 1940s, I survived numerous illnesses, alcoholic parenting, abuse, many accidents and injuries, mental health services, fostering and care homes. This chequered and chaotic childhood and adolescence has, obviously, been formative.
I went to several schools, none with high standards, yet I became fascinated by learning and managed to create an education through contact with intriguing people I found on my journey: my ‘midwives’ I call them. I also learned much from early involvement in political, charitable and community campaigning and organising. This work has remained a feature of my whole adult life.
I had a number of jobs whilst at school and afterwards, the most interesting of which were in rare book and print dealing in London, eventually managing a rare book shop in Bloomsbury before I went to train to teach, an early ambition. Married for twelve years, I have two sons – now aged 41 and 37 and, for the past 33 years have shared a rich, life with my male partner, including the care of his 11 year old son with two women friends, his mothers.
I am a keen writer, editor and communicator. I have exhibited and sold my photographs, had my poetry published, designed gardens and been a calligrapher. I remain a community and social activist involved in issues and causes internationally and have founded and chaired numerous organisations. I love travelling and seeing life from new perspectives.
My working background
I have been privileged to spend my working life supporting people of all ages and backgrounds at points of growth and change in their own lives. Twenty years of this was in education as a teacher, school governor, Head of English in a comprehensive school and an inner city college, lecturer and manager – as well as being co-ordinator of one of the biggest Open College Networks in Britain. My last thirteen years in this rewarding work was in Access education for adults, including design and delivery of the Access ‘kitemark’ for National Open College Federation.
I have worked with individuals with physical and learning difficulties, women offenders on long term sentences, minority ethnic communities, primary & secondary schoolchildren, undergraduate and postgraduate students, Masters degree supervisees and older people in University of the Third Age as well as with teachers, nurses, social workers, therapists, counsellors and other professionals in training and practice.
I have worked in charitable, public, private and voluntary sectors with individuals and groups, small and large. In addition I have extensive experience as a trainer, group leader, conference organiser and presenter, writer, broadcaster and editor.
I strongly believe that individuals, groups and whole communities can and do grow and change for the better. This, along with a fascination with how we learn and how we can unlearn what does not serve us well, in finding creative approaches to problems and painful experiences, has always motivated me and continues to do so. I have always loved what I’ve done for a living.
My work: 1990 – 2016
In 1990 I became an independent therapist and trainer, supervisor, group leader and consultant.
My training and qualifications
Graduating from Spectrum in humanistic therapy in 1994, I was accredited by them with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) between 1997 and 2016. Both bodies have Codes of Ethics and Conduct to which I subscribed. I was Honorary Clinical Associate at Pink Therapy, London – the largest specialist organisation working with gender and sexual diversity (GSD) (see LINKS page) – and spoke, wrote and trained other professionals on the special issues affecting GSD clients. I am qualified by Pink Therapy as an Advanced Gender and Sexual Diversities Therapist.
With Dominic Davies, Founding Director of Pink Therapy, I co-edited the best-selling trilogy of training handbooks, also called ‘Pink Therapy (McGraw Hill Int.,1996 &2000) In 2014 I published ‘The Marrying Kind? Lives of Gay and Bi Men Who Married Women’ – see PUBLICATIONS page.
In addition I have done the following:
14 years psychoanalysis (NHS, Private and Tavistock Clinic)
36 years’ Humanistic, Integrative, Formative and Expressive Arts therapy
3 month residential, Cassel therapeutic community
Certificate in Education (1973 Univ. London Inst. Ed.) – Double distinctions in Human Development and Literature
Bachelor of Education (1974 Univ. London Inst. Ed) – First Class Honours – Psychology & Literature
Spectrum Course in Psychotherapy 1990
Spectrum Post–Graduate course in Psychotherapy 1991
Spectrum Postgraduate Continuation Programme 1992 – 2014
PAIRS Foundation One year course in Intimate Relationship Skills (100 hours) 1994
Professional Dream work annual four-day workshop with Terry Cooper 1995 – present
Sexuality programme, 3 parts, 100 hours 1991-2
Anger management training
Drama Triangle (T.A.) training
Pink Therapy trainings
ALGBP Europe & UK trainings
And much, much more…