Member MBACP Accred. (No. 599444)
and educated in the UK, I trained and practiced as a psychotherapist
and counsellor and in child and family work in the UK before moving
to Japan in 2009 and opening English Counselling Kansai. I have been
based in the current premises in Kobe since 2011.
I am an
accredited member of the BACP (British
Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and registered on the
BACP Register, a statutory register under the UK Health and Care Professions
Council. I am also a associate clinical member of International Mental
Health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ)
and a former member of IMHPJ's Board of Directors. I work within the
ethical frameworks/guidelines and annual re-accreditation requirements
of all these organisations.
I qualified as a psychotherapist/counsellor for adults in the UK (Dip
Couns, Braintree College), based on a grounding in a range of methods
(psychodynamic, person-centred, CBT) followed by in depth study and
supervised practice in a relational psychodynamic and attachment model.
Since then I have undertaken further training to work with children
and families (including play therapy and systemic family work techniques)
and to deepen my skills in a wide range of areas, such as studying
how current neuroscience can be applied in psychotherapy and counselling,
particularly with regards to trauma and memory, and deepening my knowledge
of inter-cultural issues in counselling and couples counselling. Most
recently I have undertaken training in ACT, experiential psychotherapy
(also known as Hakomi), mindfulness methods, and Internal Family Systems
Alongside counselling in private practice with clients from all kinds
of backgrounds suffering from depression, anxiety, life problems,
relationship difficulties and so on, I worked for charities (NPOs)
in the UK for nearly 10 years, primarily in child and family work
and organisations offering therapy and other services for adult and
child survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.
In central London I worked extensively with refugees and migrants
from all over the world, specialising in bi-cultural children and
teenagers and supporting disadvantaged families to find solutions
to child protection and other issues avoiding the need for social
services intervention. I also worked to improve public and voluntary
services as the representative of the voluntary sector on Westminster's
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) steering board,
inspired and organised a voluntary-statutory conference on child mental
health ('Mind the Gap') and worked on the development of an open-access
young people's counselling service in Westminster. In my then home
town in Colchester I was a counsellor, trainer and director of the
award-winning small charity CARA (Colchester Action on Rape and Abuse
www.cara.org.uk), which I was involved with for 7 years.
I have been working mainly in private practice with individuals, couples
and children since 2009, moving to my current premises in Kobe in
2011 where I have a busy practice. As well as mostly private individuals,
I receive referrals from international schools and voluntary organisations
(especially those working with migrants, domestic violence, and gender
identity and sexuality). More recently I am employed part-time as
a School Counsellor at Osaka YMCA International School (kinder, elementary
and junior high). I have been on the Board of Directors of International
Mental health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ)
and remain an active member.
Outside of counselling I occasionally work in translation, English
publishing, and teaching.
have developed particular expertise with working with the traumatic
effects of abuse, violence and difficult childhood circumstances,
relationship difficulties, family/child-related issues, domestic violence,
and issues related to sexuality, as well as cultural differences and
issues linked to migration and bi-cultural families. I also have an
interest not only in helping people navigate through immediate crises
or severe issues but enabling people who feel stuck or frustrated
to develop the full potential of their lives.
specialise in relational and attachment-related therapy for which
works well for adults who find themselves suffering from a range of
difficulties, bringing in other techniques as required. However my
philosophy is that there is no perfect one-size-fits-all therapy (whatever
proponents of particular models may say) what is important is being
able to recognise the needs of this particular client at this time
and respond with the best possible therapeutic model for that person,
adapting it to provide continuing development. Play therapy (using
sandtray, art, etc) is used to work with children in a non-threatening
way within their experiential frame, and can also be helpful with
adults to help access more unconscious processes without the need
for verbal explanation.
adjustment (in both directions) and international couple and family
relationships relationships have been a specialism even before leaving
the UK. Over 9 years in Japan
I have become extremely familiar with patterns of relationships and
common problems and solutions between western and Japanese partners,
adapting my couples work considerably to fit the cultural context
here in communication with both western and Japanese therapists. Fortunately
my personal familiarity and respect for western and Japanese life
and Japanese language ability enables me to have good understanding
of both sides and I consciously aim to be aware of and deal with possible
bias or power dynamics involved with intercultural couples and families.
also come to specialise in gender identity and sexuality, and believe
I am the only western therapist currently focussing on this client
group in Japan.
am fairly fluent in Japanese (spoken and written) but do not actively
offer counselling in Japanese as I believe that the level of understanding
of nuances and ability to reflect internally while communicating with
ease is difficult to achieve for second language speakers. However,
where Japanese language is required in addition to English (for example
to communicate with bilingual couples or bi-cultural families) I am
happy to do my best.
see Counselling Approach, Therapeutic
Play, and FAQs for
more details of how I work and my specialities.