I received my Diploma in Counselling at the University of Southampton in 2005, and graduated there in 2009 with a B.A. (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I am an accredited member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and as such work within their guidance and ethical framework. This also provides any potential clients better peace of mind that my practice is underpinned by the association. By way of another safeguard for my clients I am insured through Holistic Insurance (member number HIS46259).
I have been a qualified counsellor for almost 15 years and have provided therapy to a wide range of people in a number of different settings. Whilst my main specialism has been working with trauma (child abuse, rape, PTSD, violent crime etc) I have also worked with people on a range of other issues such as relationships, stress, loss etc. My background as a counsellor started at Southampton Rape Crisis where I worked for 10 years, initially as a volunteer and then as a paid member of staff.
I am currently employed as a counsellor 5 days a week at the University of Portsmouth within the Student Wellbeing Services team. Here I work with students from all backgrounds on a wide range of issues, conducting assessments and providing counselling. I also deliver training on topics such as PTSD and procrastination and help in supervising others on the counselling team.
Most recently I worked for the Metropolitan Police as an Occupational Health and Wellbeing Counsellor where, between 2014 and 2016, I delivered counselling support to officers of all ranks and civilian staff for work-related and personal issues. Alongside my counselling work I also provided psychological screening of police for both pre-selection and on-going support, and would facilitate individual and group post-event trauma debriefs for officers and staff involved in significant events (e.g. the Tunisia shootings). Having left the Metropolitan Police Service and as a result of this work I am now part of a team of specialist counsellors who can provide tailored interventions to emergency services personnel (Noreen Terahni Associates), and have been trained in Trauma-Focussed CBT. I had also been a wellbeing counsellor for the boys at Queens Park Rangers Football Academy for a year, helping them cope with the pressures of balancing school commitments with the demands of training in a highly competitive environment.
At Southampton Rape Crisis I worked with both men and women from 2004 to 2014 who had experienced the trauma of rape and/or abuse, as well as related issues that may be symptomatic of their experience (for instance eating disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder etc). Between 2010 and 2013 I worked at the Oasis Academy Mayfield where I provided counselling for the staff team. Here the work was also varied, working with staff on whatever issues they wished to bring from their personal life as well as work-related issues.
Another area of my work was with Southampton Rape Crisis' award-winning education and outreach service "The Star Project", working with young people in primary and secondary schools, colleges, youth clubs and housing projects where I developed and delivered workshops on issues such as rape and sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, substance use, bullying and cyber-bullying, internet safety amongst others. I have been trained by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) agency to deliver specialised training to groups of young people on the risks around using the internet. I also have experience of developing and delivering presentations and training programmes around these issues to professionals.
Myself and my wife have been foster carers to a brother and sister for the past 14 years, and in 2009 we went to court and were successful in changing this to a Special Guardianship. Over this time we have met many challenges and understand the huge issues young people face in such circumstances (issues around trust, attachment, anger etc) and managed to maintain a therapeutic, safe and secure placement for both of them while they lived with us. We have also provided short-term fostering to other vulnerable young people including a mother and baby placement, an emergency placement for an at-risk young person as well as respite for other teenagers through Fairways Care.
The model of counselling I use is integrative which provides plenty of scope to help me develop the right approach to suit whoever is in need. Typically I may use aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, Transactional Analysis to name a few but the most important thing is to agree together on what feels right for the individual. If you are unsure of what would work for you, or if you were not happy with how your counselling was going I will always make sure I check with you how you feel it is going.