Originally from near Perth in central Scotland and having completed school, I went on to the University of Dundee where my studies included Philosophy and Psychology and I graduated with an MA (Hons) in Modern History. Not being at all sure of what I wanted to do, I went to France to pick grapes – the Vendange – in Bordeaux and in Charente, then returned to Scotland travelling and working mainly in hospitality, before settling on the Isle of Skye in 1983.
In 1998/99 I embarked on the Gaelic Immersion Course, at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (the Gaelic college) and having gained a level of fluency in Gaelic, I found employment at the College, first in the finance office and then in 2002 in Student Services.
I started my training as a counsellor and self-reflective practitioner in 2005 with the Peter Bowes Consultancy and after graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling from Queen Margaret University, went on to gain a Post Qualifying Diploma in Counselling Children & Young People. Initially I set up a counselling service at Sleat Medical Centre in South Skye and since 2014 this has been based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, providing counselling for staff and students in Gaelic and English. Since 2011, I have also counselled children and young people in primary and secondary schools in Skye & Lochalsh.
Following my training in online counselling in 2013, I was involved in establishing the UHI [University of the Highlands and Islands] Online Counselling Service and I currently offer both face to face and online counselling in English and Gaelic to adults, children and young people.
In 2014/15 I completed a ‘Creative Journeying’ course in which I learned to use art and image therapeutically and I have since trained in Sandplay Therapy. I encourage clients and supervisees, to express themselves and to gain a greater understanding of themselves, through their creativity.
I completed my supervision training with the Edinburgh Gestalt Institute in 2020 and ‘Coaching for Counsellors’ with the Rowan Consultancy of Perth in 2021.
Learning is a high value for me, both personally and professionally and I believe that my increasing self-awareness and personal growth, together with developing my skills, knowledge and experience as a practitioner, enables me to better support, understand and accept my clients and supervisees. I do this in reading and journaling; attending conferences, webinars and training events; facilitating workshops and classes; personal therapy; taking part in research interviews and in discussion and reflection with peer counsellors and supervisors.
To be fully present for my clients and supervisees and to prevent burnout, I regularly attend to my own self-care. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, whatever the weather; attend creative writing classes, and creating my own art. You will often find me reading or practicing ‘Capacitar’, which you can read more about here; and spending time with loved ones, more often at the moment on Zoom.