After 30 years of working in the NHS, the last 15 of which were as Departmental Head, I decided to retire from my post in 2009 so I could concentrate fully on what has always been my primary vocation – individual psychological therapy.
I graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1974, and after working in mental health services went on to do a postgraduate Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester. I completed the Masters degree in 1979, and started my NHS career straight away
My initial clinical training was in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and since then I have continued my training in a number of models and approaches, including obtaining the Diploma in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the North West Institute of Dynamic Psychotherapy. I have continued to maintain my interest in cognitive and interpersonal approaches, and throughout my career I have felt that all models have something to offer, and that no one approach has all or even most of the answers. I have been involved in research at different times during my career, and have published papers and two books with Manchester University Press. I also try to keep up-to-date with some of the exciting new developments in the field of cognitive science, as some of the discoveries from this field are relevant to psychological therapies.
One crucial element to ensure a good outcome to therapy is the relationship between therapist and client: the goals and preferences of the client and those of the therapist can gradually drift away from each other, and so in therapy I feel it is very important to regularly check up that there is a good fit between our goals and expectations.
Although therapy by its nature involves working with emotional distress, it can also be a stimulating experience, and even, at times, enjoyable!
Finally, you may be wondering why there is a picture of a mountain biker on the home page: In fact I am a keen mountain biker, and really liked that particular photo, in which the cyclist, sadly, is not me.