I am an experienced child & adult psychotherapist. I am registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy, (UKCP). I offer psychotherapy, therapy with horses and supervision. I work in Dumfries on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. I also offer the EAGALA model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, on Thursdays, at Denton Hall Farmhouse, Low Row.
I have a special interest in trauma and how those early experiences in childhood, can affect our adult relationships. This interest came from a desire to make sense of my own childhood experiences and how they had influenced my life.
I started my career in the financial sector where a move to Cumbria and redundancy offered me the opportunity to change career. I started working as a youth worker based in an information and counselling centre. I enjoyed working with young people and helping them solutions to immediate problems such as housing, benefits and finding work. I became aware that addiction to alcohol & drugs seemed to be how some adolescents managed these problems. I knew I needed to learn more about what makes people ‘tick’. I went on to train as a volunteer drug & alcohol counsellor where I was introduced to Transactional Analysis (TA). This was another pivotal moment in my life, where I suddenly had a ‘light bulb’ moment! Discovering a way to understand how my personality, relationships and behaviour had been shaped by early experiences was a revelation. I was so inspired by TA that I started training to be a psychotherapist in 1999. During my training I developed an interest in trauma. I went on to complete a diploma in somatic trauma therapy, with Babette Rothschild.
In 2005 I started working with adolescents with high risk behaviours. Engaging these young people In talking therapy was nearly impossible. I discovered there was an approch that used experiences with horses to help people find their own solutions – the EAGALA model. EAGALA sets the global standard for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Personal Development. Find out more about equine assisted psychotherapy.
Evidence shows that horses have a special ability to help people work through emotional barriers. Equine Facilitated Therapy can work with a wide range of emotional distress including Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. Evaluation from a number of pilots shows equine therapy results in decreased levels of anxiety, depression and disruptive behaviour. One study noted how working with horses supported young people to change their behavior, thereby taking responsibility for their own actions and the impact this has on others eagala.org/research.
I completed the EAGALA training and certification in 2005 and since then I have been working as part of a team offering Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). In our work with young people in residential care we started to see immediate results.
I completed my Advanced Certification with Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association (EAGALA).
I qualified as a Certified Transactional Analyst in 2008. My desire to learn and grow continued. I went on to train further in supervision and training. I gained my Provisional Teaching & Supervising Transactional Analyst (PTSTA) status in Bilbao in 2001. I completed my Advanced Certification with Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association (EAGALA). I work as a mentor for EAGALA supporting other professionals in their professional development.