I always knew I wanted to help people. I had no idea what that would look like or how I could achieve it, so I chose to focus on a discipline which I could relate to: psychology. I began my formal studies at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne and gained a BSc Honours in Psychology.
I volunteered for the Samaritans, Victims Support and SOVA and my time in these roles solidified the decision to dedicate my life to helping people. Through Sams I worked with people suffering from mental illness so severe they contemplated committing suicide, and in some cases went through with it . Through SOVA and Victims Support, I worked with both the offenders and victims of crime. I witnessed suffering caused by many situations and realised that there were always patterns and, most importantly, missed opportunities for change.
I furthered my undergraduate studies with a Masters in Forensic Psychology at Newcastle University, as, at the time, a career rehabilitating offenders seemed like the perfect solution to my ultimate goal of wanting to help. During this time, I also took a position in mental healthcare for the Priory Group, working with individuals who have learning disabilities, autism, Asperger’s, personality disorder and acquired brain injury. Due to the hands-on involvement in care which lead to the positive progression of people with persistent mental health challenges, this remains one of the most enjoyable jobs I have ever had.
Once I achieved my MSc, I was offered a job as a Treatment Manager running psychological interventions within the UK prison service. I worked predominantly with males convicted of sexual offences and led a team which contributed to the national agenda of reducing reoffending. During my time there I made several realisations. Firstly, that I was very successful at helping some of the most damaged and challenging members of society to reform their lives. Secondly, that what I really wanted to do was take the education and expertise I had gained to create an opportunity for radical change and make it available to everyone.
As important as my qualifications and work experience are, my life experience and intuition are key to my success. I incorporate tools I have learnt throughout each stage of my education, my vocational training and also the practices which have worked for me. I am a qualified practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which is the practice of understanding how people organise their thinking, feeling, language and behaviour and, in turn, provides tools and methods to alter what is not working. I use a holistic toolkit and a measurable approach to identify where clients want to make changes, what their desired outcomes are and collaboratively shape what is needed to get there. I design a programme which is unique to each client, to help them release the limiting beliefs they have and live the life they desire.
My story isn’t one of underprivilege and tragedy, I look back at my life so far and I am filled with gratitude, however I have had my fair share of struggles. I had depression and anxiety throughout most of my teens, which I only realised upon retrospection. Those unrelenting shadows followed me into my twenties and I know they’ll be with me for life. I do not preach fast and unrealistic fixes, my aim is to help you realise that: