I have come to CASSS very much as a non-professional, where counselling is concerned! I’ve never had any training in counselling. But I have had experience of receiving counselling. So now I try to be the voice of the client. I try to ensure CASSS considers the needs of ordinary people like me, who feel they need that bit of extra help, but don’t understand the differences between different types of counselling. Or where to even start, when you need support.
I have quite a diverse background. I currently work for the Libraries and Museums service, in Southend. But prior to that I worked with children and families; with domestic abuse victims and with victims of crime. I’m an avid reader and something of a comic book geek. I also run a support group for young people with high-functioning autism and their families.
After gaining my science degree from London University, I began a career in teaching. I taught for over 30 years in secondary school up to ‘A’ level in Biology, with Physics and Chemistry to GCSE level.
In the school I joined the Senior Management Team, with responsibility for both staff and student welfare. I worked in this role for over 10 years. For a significant part of this time, I was responsible for Child Protection. I worked closely with social services, including acting as chairperson for ‘Core’ groups. I was on development troops for ‘Team around the Child’, a multiagency group; and Extended Schools initiatives.
Prior to leaving teaching, I started training as a psychotherapist. I have been a therapist for over 13 years. I'm an accredited counsellor and accredited supervisor for individual counsellors, with my professional body the BACP.
As a therapist I've worked within the Domestic Abuse area over 10 years, including as a supervisor. I have also worked in one local secondary school for a year and another for five years. I now volunteer with a local counselling charity, whilst working privately as a counsellor and counselling supervisor. I have also developed and delivered bespoke CPD for therapists, both within the domestic abuse charity and also independently.
I have always focussed on empowering the individual, to help them gain confidence and achieve the best of their ability. For some people this will require supportive interventions, such as mentoring or therapy. It is important that people have access to this, regardless of their personal circumstances or economics.
I fell into counselling by accident, but that fall was life changing. I honestly believe that everyone should try counselling at least for a while. Because once they have, they will quickly discover how to live a life that fits them better. That is certainly what happened for me.
Counselling is my passion. If you are spiritual, you could think of it as my calling. A chance to be part of something that is truly life-changing, for my clients. It allows me to watch them discover their worth, when they were convinced they had none. Then see them living a more fulfilling life.
I studied counselling at University and have a First Class Honours Degree, along with a Diploma in Supervision Studies. I am currently completing a Masters in Clinical Supervision. I am Accredited with the Foundation for Infant loss and have a Level 5 Teaching qualification.
I am an accredited member of the National Counselling Society (NCS) and registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). I also belong to the World Association of the Person-Centred Approach (WAPCA).
CASSS first started in 2013 with several agencies meeting together, to network and share ideas and information. We now have therapy agencies and Colleges/Training Providers meeting together on a regular basis, to help support the development of therapy services. CASSS itself is currently a small charity run by several trustees, who have knowledge and experience in the counselling and therapy sector.
At present we have agency networking meeting every two months, to share information and network. CASSS also publishes a monthly newsletter, giving regular updates on the sector locally and nationally. It organises CPD and mental health events, for the public to meet with agencies and discuss issues. Further activities are planned, to help develop the sector further and improve support provided to the community.
The vision is to make Southend and Essex a centre of excellence, for talking therapies.
If you wish to support CASSS in it's work to develop therapy services in Southend and Essex, please contact us on this website, to express your interest.
If you wish to make a donation to CASSS, please contact us to discuss. By supporting CASSS you are helping a wide range of agencies to provide counselling and therapy to the community.