Originally from near Perth, I have been very happily settled on the Isle of Skye for nearly 40 years. After school I went on to Dundee University where I studied Modern History, Philosophy and Psychology. After graduating, and not being at all sure of what I wanted to do, I went to France to pick grapes – the Vendange – in Bordeaux in Charente. I returned to Scotland travelling and working in hospitality in a variety of roles, before settling on the Isle of Skye.
In 1998 I embarked on An Cùrsa Comais, Gaelic Immersion course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and found employment at the College, first in the finance office and then in Student Services from 2002.
I started my training as a counsellor and self-reflective practitioner in 2005 with the Peter Bowes Consultancy and after graduating from Queen Margaret University, went on to gain a Post-qualifying Diploma in Counselling Children & Young People and set up a counselling service initially based at Sleat Medical Centre and from 2014 for students and staff at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Since 2011, I have also counselled children and young people in primary and secondary schools in Skye & Lochalsh.
Following my training in online counselling, I was involved in setting up and counselling for, the UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands) Online Counselling Service, from 2013/14. My supervision training was with the Edinburgh Gestalt Institute which I completed in 2020 and I gained BACP Accreditation in 2021 – fingers and toes crossed! I have learned to use image and art through the ‘Creative journeying’ Course at the Bield at Blackruthven near Perth and encourage my clients and supervisees, both to express themselves and to gain a greater understanding of themselves, through their creativity.
Learning is a high value for me, both personally and professionally and as I seek to understand myself better and increase my self-awareness and personal growth, alongside that, I seek to develop as a practitioner increasing my knowledge and experience so as to be better able to 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; taking part in research interviews and in discussion and reflecting with peer counsellors and supervisors.
Recent training events I have attended, have included: anxiety; Aspergers & autism, bereavement and grief; depression; disordered eating; equalities; inner child work; male sexual abuse; relationships & attachment, PTSD and trauma; working with people in the LGBTQ+ community; working with risk and suicidal ideation; writing for recovery; child protection & safeguarding; play therapy; and many more.
I encourage attention to self-care both for myself and my clients and I try to practice these on a daily basis: being outdoors whatever the weather, reading for pleasure, spending time with loved ones, if possible in person, but more often at the moment on zoom.