About me and my work
Since my teens I have been fascinated by the connections between our bodies, thoughts, emotions, faith, and nature. As a child, when I wasn’t being a ‘book worm’ I was lost and found in nature, lucky enough to be growing up in the countryside. I realised I wanted to become a therapist when I was 21 and learning counselling skills as part of my teacher training degree. I was awed by the deep listening and embodied presence of the trainers, sensing the possibility of change emerging from the therapeutic relationship - a seed was sown!
After a varied and interesting working life as a university lecturer, on small aid projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, a director in my family’s business, and a facilitator working with other family businesses going through challenging transitions, I realised in my late 20s that I felt ready to start training as a therapist. I qualified as an Integrative Counsellor in 2004 and have subsequently trained in Relational Body Psychotherapy, Wild Therapy (a form of nature connection work), bereavement work, as well as in providing supervision for other therapists. I'm a former trainer with the Embodied-Relational therapy and Wild Therapy training teams. I undertake ongoing continuing professional development - you can read more about my qualifications. These trainings have been enriching personally and professionally.
In my early 20s I came across Buddhism and meditation which have been very significant in shaping my understanding of life, embodiment, and the nature of being – raising more questions, of course, rather than necessarily answering them! For 11 years I was ordained as a Buddhist and have subsequently taken the precepts in the Soto Zen tradition. Since 2016 I've been practising under the tutelage of the Zen teacher, author and activist David Loy.
From 2010 - 2014 I was steering group member of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR) and editor of its Transformations in house journal. In 2012 I was part of the team co-founding the annual 'Edge of the Wild' UK ecopsychology gathering and I am an active member of the ecopsychology community. I have written three books, with a fourth co-edited collection in April 2020, all featured on this website. I have written several papers and articles, am a regular writer for Somatic Psychotherapy Today and, closer to home, a member of Bristol Climate Writers.
Learning and teaching has been a lifelong strand in my work, from training as a teacher after my first degree, to designing and teaching a variety of different courses over the years, from an MBA for Family businesses, through to Buddhist study, meditation retreats and Wild therapy workshops - my more recent teaching. I give public talks on themes relating to Wild therapy, ecopsychology, as well as the themes of each of my books.
Throughout my forties, I have been drawn to re-visiting my own birth as well as working with clients exploring their birth stories. In 2015 I completed The Birth Journey, a training with Matthew Appleton and Jenni Meyer at Conscious Embodiment and I am currently a student on their two-year Integrated Baby Training, deepening my understanding of the fascinating area of pre and peri-natal life and our earliest influences.
When I’m not exploring life with clients, trainees and supervisees, I still love being in the elements, tending to our allotment, exploring ancestry, and living with my partner in North Bristol.